As the Oct. 1 deadline for implementing the ICD-10 code set for outpatient diagnostic coding draws ever closer, family physicians need to take advantage of resources to help them prepare.
Here's a learning opportunity FPs can't afford to miss: Register today for a free AAFP webinar(attendee.gotowebinar.com) titled "ICD-10: Think Outside the Book," scheduled for April 9 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. CDT. Registration is limited to 500 participants.
Content expert Barbie Hays, C.P.C., the AAFP's coding and compliance strategist, will recommend ways to prepare your practice and staff for this big change.
Hays is an AAPC ICD-10 Certified Trainer and used that expertise in her previous four-year tenure as coding manager and physician educator at a multispecialty practice that included more than 160 health care professionals and maintained a family medicine focus.
Hays noted that the new ICD-10 code set stands to impact everyone in the practice setting, including front-office staff, coding and billing personnel, and clinical staff.
The webinar aims to help all physicians and their practice managers, but especially those operating solo and small practices, who likely won't enjoy the support of a larger organization during the transition process.
In an interview with AAFP News, Hays said physicians might not have considered how much ICD-10 will affect the daily work of all practice employees or the impact that a whole new set of codes will have on things like clinic equipment.
For instance, consider the machine that prints patients' EKG reports.
"A lot of systems automatically flow into the electronic health record (EHR), but equipment that hasn't been updated and is not compatible with ICD-10 diagnosis codes will prohibit that information from flowing seamlessly into the EHR," said Hays.
During her presentation, Hays said she'll also have suggestions for how practices can "ease the payment crunch that ICD-10 most likely will impose." At the top of her list will be ensuring payer and clearinghouse readiness and considering financial strategies such as opening a line of credit at a local bank.
Physicians will have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. The webinar will be archived for later viewing for those unable to participate in the live event.
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