Steps You Can Do to Prepare for ICD-10

OOA Incoming President Dr. Jason Miller will provide one-hour of practice management CE at each of his President’s Nights in the 12 Ohio zones starting in late August. Contact your Zone Governor for details or email the OOA.

The ICD-10 transition is only two months away –   October 1, 2015.  Are you ready?

Steps You Can Do to Prepare for ICD-10

Following are steps that optometric practices can take to prepare.  The key is to start now (see Additional Links and Resources below for specific timetables for ICD-10 transition).

  1. Go to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services website. Here you can find up-to-date information on ICD-10, e-mail updates, webinars and links for specific provider information as well as timelines for implementation.

  1. Evaluate your current documentation. Look at your current records to see how your clinical documentation would be graded in ICD-10.  Remember, the purpose of ICD-10 is to more accurately describe each patient’s condition. Documentation is what drives coding.  Is the history you documented comprehensive enough to fully describe the encounter which will go along with your findings?  One helpful tip would be to practice and improve on your everyday documentation which is driven by each clinical condition.  This will allow you or your coder to have enough information for ICD-10 classification.
  2. Determine who in the office will be affected. Evaluate all aspects of your practice where ICD-9 is currently used.  Examples include authorizations, pre-certifications, physician orders, medical records, superbills, EHR systems, coding manuals and public health reports.  Discuss ICD-10 with key staff members.  Make sure all systems you integrate with are ready to go on October 1, 2015. Allow every affected individual ample time to understand these changes and provide the necessary training.
  3. Know your top codes. There are several programs, websites and services available to help navigate the new ICD-10 codes and allow a comparison to ICD-9.  Look at the current top 10 or 20 ICD-9 codes used in your practice and find out what the ICD-10 codes will be.  These same programs will also allow you to compare ICD-10 codes to their previous classification.  Document these codes as a guide to improve accuracy when ICD-10 comes around.   A main difference will be the greater specificity of these various diseases and condition.  Examples:

Although it sounds overwhelming, taking the time to prepare ahead of time will save some stress on October 1, 2015 when the change must occur.  Encourage doctors and staff in your practice to concentrate on medical record documentation that will help choose the correct code when necessary.

Available ICD-10 Resources:

There are many resources available to prepare your practice for ICD-10 available on the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services website.  The following links provide useful tools to guide your practice as you e transition to ICD-10.

– American Optometric Association

An optometry focused ICD-10 webinar series provides thorough and accurate information. AOA members who have an ICD-10 question that is not answered in AOA resources can direct a question to AOA’s coding experts.


– CMS Provider Resources

o   FAQ:  ICD-10 Transition Basics

o   ICD-10 Transition: An Introduction Fact Sheet

o   ICD-10 Basics for Medical Practices

o   ICD-10 Basics for Payers

o   The ICD-10 Transition: Focus on Non-Covered Entities

o   Checklists, Timelines, and Implementation

o   Implementation Planning

o   Communicating About ICD-10

o   Medscape Education:  Webinar and Articles Available


– American Association of Professional Coders –

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