The Smart Medical Practice

Medical Doctors say Staff Training Efforts Payoff After ICD-10 Rollout


The addition of more than 140,000 codes under the 10th revision of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) meant that everyone from the billing departments of health insurance companies to staff at private medical practices needed plenty of training.

There were concerns ahead of the Oct. 1, 2015 rollout that doctor’s offices in particular were not doing enough to prepare for the new system of describing diseases and hospital procedures. But so far, the grim predictions of delayed payments as a result of improper coding haven’t played out.

We recently asked several doctors in a variety of specialties about what their offices did to prepare for ICD-10. Here’s what they had to say:

One of the biggest hurdles approaching ICD-10 was making sure staffs were properly equipped to handle the transition. How did your medical practice trained staff for ICD-10? Do you have any lessons you can share with our readers?

My biller attended several classes, and also spoke with billers in other offices that do the same thing as we do. Our software vendor also helped in the transition.

– Dr. Mark Pleatman is a general surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery.

I think it is very important that your backend practice management software and the RCM are up to date and that all the proper coding and database exists for the physician usage. If the infrastructure and backbone are in tact, then the transition is seamless.

– Dr. Cynthia Thaik is the Medical Director for the Holistic Healing Heart Center in Burbank, Calif. The Harvard-trained cardiologist is also a Health & Wellness Speaker and the author of Your Vibrant Heart.

We sent our biller off for a one-week training course, our providers had a two-day update and some practice time.

– Todd Jaffe M.D., is the president and owner of Brevard Pain Management in Melbourne, Fla. He is board certified in Anesthesiology, Addiction Medicine and subspecialty certified in pain medicine through the American Board of Anesthesiology.

We had some of our senior staff attending ICD-10 seminars, and then they passed the information to the rest of the staff.

– Dr. Nickolai Talanin has been published more than 40 times in leading professional journals on issues covering skincare and skin diseases. He currently works as a dermatologist in Centreville, Va.

Yes. Be ready for when they start rejecting non-specific codes.

– Dr. Ernest Bloom is a Board Certified Dermatologist at California Skin Institute Alameda. He treats both adult and pediatric patients, concentrating on providing the best therapy for medical and cosmetic skin issues.

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