Most medical practice administrators have a calendar on the wall with the date October 1, 2014 circled in bright red. This date is when doctor’s offices have to begin using the new diagnosis codes, known as ICD-10 for filing claims with Medicare, Medicaid, all private insurance, and workers compensation.
While the purpose of the change is to allow medical providers to bill with more certainty, one example is areas including left versus right side.
The move is going to take the current system of about 13,000 codes to a system with about 68,000 codes. Providers are buzzing about the implementation schedule and preparing for the deadline. The consensus is that medical practices use ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes simultaneously to prepare for the conversion. Concurrent use of both new and old coding helps medical providers in five important ways.
Benefits of Dual Code Billing
- It allows for the testing of internal systems
- System testing identifies circumstances for physicians and others who make entries in the clinical chart for clinical documentation improvement (CDI).
- Using dual coding allows medical billing staff the opportunity to practice using ICD-10 codes. The ICD-9 codes serve as reminders for the proper ICD-10 codes – using the new codes with the old is a learning opportunity that keeps any ICD-10 training and knowledge from becoming stale.
- Parallel ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding creates up-to-date data that is useful when negotiating contracts with payers. The practice also gives confidence to medical practices that reimbursements do not change dramatically after the October 1, 2014 deadline.
- The use of dual codes helps physician practices prepare to take part in external tests with insurance payer and clearinghouses.
Unfortunately, dual coding is costly in man-hours, system development, and a slowdown in medical practice billing practice operations. But, smart practice administrators and practice owners find that usingPracticeSuite is a way of mitigating dual coding costs and hassles.
PracticeSuite is practice management and billing software that accommodates ICD-9/ICD-10 concurrent billing including the new dual 1500 form. Most importantly, PracticeSuite physician office billing software has a free version that lets you test for as long as you want before upgrading.
As the PracticeSuite system is cloud based, there is no need for investment in expensive hardware or software. The monthly affordable subscription cost is expensed not depreciated. Additionally, any device that connects to the Internet connects to PracticeSuite. Updates are the responsibility of PracticeSuite and occur at least once a month.
Quick Facts about PracticeSuite
- Fully functional free starter edition
- Ready to use dual-mode (ICD-9 and ICD-10) allows billers to continue billing with ICD-9 while they learn ICD-10.
- The system has built-in General Equivalence Mappings (GEM) to help convert old codes to new codes.
- Unmatched training using training videos, daily training, web-based training and excellent phone support
- No contracts, commitments are a month-to-month arrangement
- Guards against denials with an advanced claim validation feature that works on both old and new codes.
- With the free edition it is easy to test our end-to-end billing system
- HIPAA, HITECH, OMNIBUS, PCI, and eRx compliant data storage and facilities
- Validated for meaningful use
- Scalable from solo practitioner to large group practice
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