The Jam-Packed, Official Last-Minute ICD-10 Survival Guide

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The Jam-Packed, Official Last-Minute ICD-10 Survival Guide

The ICD-10 deadline is here! In this article we have provided some beneficial reasons & resources to remind you how ICD-10 can be beneficial for your medical practice.


Today marks the beginning of ICD-10 – the day all HIPAA-covered entities will officially make the transition to the latest diagnostic coding system. Healthcare providers have been hearing about this day for years; it seemed like it might never arrive. However, despite the delays, ICD-10 is finally here.

Why ICD-10 is the Best Thing to Happen to Your Practice

By now, your EHR vendor should be fully ICD-10 compliant and ready to begin using the new codes, and you and your staff are slowly beginning to realize the reality of ICD-10. It’s time to take a moment and consider the many reasons why it will actually be the best thing for your medical practice:

  • Fewer claim denials and payment delays: proper documentation means your claims will be more accurate and easier for payers to process. While experts concede that the beginning will be tough, as everyone adjusts to the new system, they are confident that the number of pending claims and overall denials will soon decrease.
  • Clearer patient diagnoses: the greater specificity of the ICD-10 codes enables you to be more exact in how you diagnose your patients. Being able to indicate factors such as laterality, circumstances, symptoms, and more with a just a few codes makes the condition much easier to identify and report.
  • Enhanced revenue stream: ICD-10 will have a large impact on the revenue cycle. Revenue may initially drop, but the process will quickly determine where your weak spots are and help you identify which steps you can take towards improvement. As your staff becomes more and more comfortable with using ICD-10 codes, payers will have an easier time processing your claims, and your practice’s revenue stream will grow.
  • Better data for research purposes: the data collected for research will be more detailed and provide a wider range of information in order to produce better outcomes for overall population health. Making the transition to ICD-10 allows the United States to more easily share medical and public health data with other industrialized countries, which have all already made the switch to ICD-10. This information can be compared on an international scale for more streamlined results. The American Medical Association (AMA) stated in a July press release, “The use of ICD-10 should advance public health research and emergency response through detection of disease outbreaks and adverse drug events.”
  • Improved patient care and health IT: having the ability to gather a higher quality of information allows you to utilize that information when treating a patient. Although this is the 10th revision of the industry wide diagnostic coding system, ICD-10 is the first update in almost 36 years. ICD-9 is no longer capable of working with the modern, technology-infused world of healthcare, whereas ICD-10 is the next step to facilitating health IT initiatives and improving the quality of patient care.

Resources You Need to Make the Transition to ICD-10

Although the deadline is here, it’s never too late to be prepared. If you are among those who are not yet ready for the transition, or if you are just looking for some extra information, we’ve got you covered. The yearlong grace period offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is intended to help providers adjust to using the new codes (this grace period only applies to CMS; commercial payers may have different policies). The following resources are available to you for the best possible ICD-10 experience:

  • is a website dedicated to preparing you for the ICD-10 transition. With a quick start guide, practice case studies, documentation webcasts, and a variety of other tools, this site developed by CMS will help you ensure your practice is quickly ICD-10 ready.
  • William Rogers M.D. has been appointed by CMS as the ICD-10 ombudsman. His role will involve assessing and triaging ICD-10 related issues. Beginning today, he can be contacted at
  • The PrognoCIS ICD-10 Hub includes the latest industry news, how to quickly input ICD-10 codes within the PrognoCIS application, and information about our testing process and verified clearinghouses.

Congratulations! You’ve made it to ICD-10.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi