AMA resources for helping physicians with ICD-10

By Carl Natale
08:26 AM

One of the most useful ICD-10 preparation resources I have seen comes from the American Medical Association (AMA).

It provides a free 12-step action plan to help physicians get their ICD-10 transition started.

The plan is one of three free educational resources. You can also find:

  • “What you need to know for the upcoming transition to ICD-10-CM”
  •  “Achieving the benefits promised by administrative simplification, ICD-10 and EHRs”

The AMA's 12-step program involves:

  1. "Organize the implementation effort" (Estimated time to complete: 2–4 weeks)
  2. "Analyze the impact of ICD-10 implementation" (2–3 months)
  3. "Contact your systems vendors (1–2 months and ongoing)
  4. Budget for implementation costs (2–4 weeks and ongoing)
  5. Contact your trading partners (1–2 months and ongoing)
  6. Implement system and/or software upgrades (3–6 months)
  7. Conduct internal testing (1–2 months)
  8. Update internal processes (1–2 months)
  9. Conduct staff training (1–2 months and ongoing)
  10. Conduct external testing of transactions with ICD-10 codes (1–2 months)
  11. Implement ICD-10 (Implementation date: Oct. 1, 2014)
  12. Monitor use of ICD-10 (3–6 months)

Note the last step is meant for after Oct. 1.

But the first step, organizing your efforts needs to be started right away. The AMA plan includes:

  • Become familiar with the ICD-10 requirements
  • Identify a project manager (See also: How to become an ICD-10 champion)
  • Identify key personnel involved in the project

    • Select team members from key areas of your organization, including:

      • Senior management - Health information management
      • Coding
      • Billing/finance
      • Compliance
      • Revenue cycle management
      • Information systems and technology
      • Medical staff
  • Set a schedule for project meetings
  • Set a preliminary budget for the work

From other sources

Here are some more preliminary tips:

  • Involve executive level leaders to help get buy-in from the top.
  • Make sure medical staff are represented.
  • Maintain a regular schedule.
  • The project manager should be the ultimate decision maker in all ICD-10 matters.
  • Rely on department representatives to craft communications to their colleagues.
  • Don't disband Oct. 1, 2014.

    • Set goals bigger than ICD-10 implementation
    • Monitor productivity
    • Stay on top of reimbursements

      • Remember HIPAA 5010 issues
      • Are you getting paid what is due?

The AMA plan makes the ICD-10 transition look doable this year. I will follow up with more posts breaking down the 12 steps into tips. Soon, you will have a good understanding of how to achieve ICD-10 compliance by Oct. 1.