Jay Sokolow MD FACR, received his medical degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than three decades.
The Connecticut-based radiologist recently answered questions for us about the recent implementation of ICD-10.
Dr. Sokolow, it’s been more than three months since ICD-10. Has it been effective?
There have been no major differences in our practice.
Some practices are finding the transition to ICD-10 challenging. In various specialties such as orthopedics, doctors are having to learn thousands of new codes. As a radiologist have you found that the transition to ICD-10 has been more or less turbulent than you expected? Why?
It’s been less turbulent. We were warned that it would be disruptive but our billing people did a great job and we were ready for transition.
At many practices, the billing teams took years to prepare for ICD-10. Do you have any stories about your transition to ICD-10? (Billing issues, patient issues, etc.)
I’m happy to report that there have been no issues.
Now that the dust from the transition to ICD-10 has settled, can you list one advantage and one disadvantage of ICD-10 so far?
There are no real advantages that I can see. One disadvantage was all the work required to switch over.
What insurance payers seem to be the most prepared for ICD-10?
All major carriers were ready at the transition.
If you could say anything to Medicare, what would you say?
Do the management yourselves instead of hiring regional carriers who are often clueless.
Are there any procedures you can bill under ICD-10 that you couldn’t bill under ICD-9?
None that we have found.
How has your medical practice trained staff for ICD-10? Do you have any lessons you can share with our readers?
Much of the transition was handled by a software upgrade. Out biggest issue was getting the appropriate information from referring doctors.
Do you believe the transition to ICD-10 ultimately benefits the patient? Why or why not?
No, I don’t see it as beneficial to patients. It just increases overhead, which already eats up way too much of the healthcare budget.
In the end, do you think ICD-10 will be an improvement for your practice? Why or why not?
It won’t make any change in radiology. We just code the information sent by the referring provider.
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