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14 and rounding the corner

Number 14 Blue.1084731 StdWe are rounding the ICD-10 corner with 14 days left until this “historic undertaking” envelops the healthcare industry with the change over to the ICD-10 code set.  Are anxiety levels high, are medical offices and billing services encountering head scratching moments of coding confusion, are providers taking out additional lines of credit?  Unfortunately, the answers to these questions seem to be a resounding ‘YES’.
I certainly don’t want to age myself however I can still vividly remember all of the uncertainty regarding Y2K (life as we knew it would change; computer programs were forecasted to crash, availability of electricity could be compromised, and grocery stores shelves were emptied in preparation for this technological disaster.)  More specifically in the healthcare industry, there were also those moments in time when NPI numbers were front and center, along with the shift to 5010.  From my operational viewpoint, there is a recurring theme with these events…fearing the unknown.  While fear is a normal human emotion, it can certainly take a front seat in life and cause less than desirable health outcomes like anxiety and depression.
One thing we do have control over is how we react to ICD-10 related situations or issues once the month of October hits.  For those who may be filled with anxiety due to this inevitable change, deep breathing exercises has always been a good tactic for me.  Some experts suggest talking a walk on your break or lunch hour, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, or laughing out loud.  While these may be short term fixes, they can help you or your team members through the day.  Instead of combing through hundreds of ICD-10 articles or how to’s on the Internet in frustration, take a look at our customer centric MediPro Community with an entire section devoted to ICD-10 information and direct resources. Or explore the MediPro Blog with an easy-to-use categorization format.
When this transition is all said and done, I predict one day we’ll look back and wonder how we even coded and billed with ICD-9.  An optimistic viewpoint,  maybe.  The reality is that most if not all healthcare professionals will be undergoing similar struggles and if you can supersede those anxious thoughts and feelings, the fear of the unknown may not be so bad.

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