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If you’re a procrastinator who runs a medical practice, look out! ICD-10 is on its way, and if you and your medical staff are not prepared, this could cost you big time. ICD-9 has been the standard, but as with everything, change comes, especially in regard to business, and yes, your medical practice is a business.
While your goal is obviously to treat patients and provide them with expert care, your practice simply will not be able to operate without revenue, and that revenue comes from patients paying bills that have been correctly coded. The new standards brings a variety of changes that will affect patient care, revenue growth, and your ability to continue serving patients, and without proper training, your practice may fall behind, lose patients, and even affect patient health.

What Changes Are Expected to Occur

When transitioning to ICD-10 from ICD-9, you’ll notice that the code set is expanding from five positions to seven. Without correct training, employees at your medical practice may find themselves unable to enter proper values when billing patients, especially when accustomed to the old ways of doing things. This could create havoc for your medical practice, but it could also hurt patients financially and drive them to make unsafe medical decisions regarding care.
In order to drive the point home, however, you and your staff need to realize that, in ICD-9, there were only 13,000 codes, but with ICD-10 there will be 68,000. This is a huge difference and will require even more attention to detail. Training is an absolute must. Incompetence in coding processes could ultimately harm patients financially and in terms of providing superior healthcare services.
Procrastination is not an option when dealing with patient care, coding, and billing.

Further Ways Procrastination Hurts
The simple fact is that procrastinating now can hurt your practice’s bottom line in the way of incorrect coding and billing; however, to add to this, incorrect coding and billing can hurt your practice’s bottom line in the way of reputation management.
Consider this: there are plenty of online resources available for potential or even current patients to research care and opinions in order to see reviews of your practice. If you’re incorrectly billing patients or have a large amount of patients disputing bills due to improper coding, then it’s likely that your practice will suffer from negative word-of-mouth advertising through the Internet and through family, friends, coworkers, and more. In serious situations, if enough negative reviews pile up, this could become an issue that effectively closes your practice’s doors for good.
PracticeSuite Provides ICD-10 Training to Practices of All Sizes
If you don’t feel that your practice’s coding staff are ready for the onslaught of code changes, contact PracticeSuite. Along with offering free medical billing software options, EHR, and practice management system solutions, PracticeSuite also provides ICD-10 training courses that can have your staff ready for the changes ahead. Why not sign up for a free version today?
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include medical practice management and business development.
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Last Updated on April 28, 2015