Dual Coding ICD-10: Still a Valid Way to Code After Oct. 1st?
Dual coding ICD-10 has been utilized up to this point to get a jump-start on the evolving guidelines and numerical trends as the October 1st deadline fast approached. Many clinics have been dual coding for the past few months as a learning tool, to see the ICD 9 and ICD 10 codes side-by-side in documentation. In this way, there has been a more gradual transition rather than an abrupt halt to one and the quick upstart of the next. But now that October has arrived, many do not realize that dual coding ICD-10 can still be used for many payers, as well as Medicare.
What does dual coding ICD-10 accomplish?
- Allows organizations a means to test and identify clinical documentation for weak spots.
- Financial modeling.
- Closer communication and relationships with payers through claims testing (how reimbursement levels will change and what, if any, comprehensive documentation is required).
- An accurate prediction of the impact of staff and productivity for transitioning practice management. The estimation is that productivity will decline between 30-60%, based on what happened in Canada’s transition.
- Improved experience with coding, while covering your practice’s bases so that nothing is dropped.
- Documentation auditing to see if adequate details are being recorded for ICD-10 specificity.
Some of these may seem like they are too late to put into full effect. However, the reality is that every clinic will hit bumps in the process, especially right now in the beginning. It’s better to use dual coding ICD-10 as a means of analysis and verification than to assume ICD-10 readiness and find holes in documentation that result in failure of reimbursement.
Remember that your clinic will have specific coding and billing requirements. There might be variations by state, payer, and case. If you have doubt in your process, hire a professional team or service that can verify legal requirements and can plan ahead for the appropriate timelines. Otherwise, you might be facing steep fines or other penalties, if not simply time and thousands of dollars lost.
ICD-10 dual coding can minimize negative operational and financial impacts to your practice. But there may be a faster, simpler way to step up to the new coding requirements that doesn’t require manpower or time. If your clinic hires Billing Advantage as a third-party coding and billing agency, your medical and office staff can spend more time improving patient care. For a small investment now, the security, organization, and follow-through of Billing Advantage will end up saving you money that you would otherwise lose due to documentation inadequacy or coding error. To talk with a trusted and experienced Billing Advantage agent about services, call today!