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The "October Surprise"

It is T-1year and counting for implementation of ICD-10 next Oct 2015. The article Fifty-one Percent “Somewhat” Ready for ICD-10, states that a recent review of the data show that the “readiness to convert” is a mixed bag.

  • Most surveyed providers were confident that their system could handle ICD-9 and ICD-10 concurrently.

  • Most providers rely on clearinghouses but the data is not convincing that sufficient testing has been performed. End-to end testing (the only true test) has not been performed in most cases.

  • Costs to change are a moving target.

  • The year delay has not increased the readiness but is more of a latent period. The paranoia of reduced receipts has not taken hold.

The “October Surprise” will be when you, your clearinghouse, your staff, and your billing company have not performed end-to end testing to confirm your ability to “GO LIVE” in October.

The other component is that no one is sure the insurance companies will interpret the new codes like the old ones leading to denials, confusion, and lower reimbursements.

Xpress Technologies Practice Management and Xpress Billing have carefully prepared with their clearinghouses to be ready for the transition. Some experts suggest that practices have 60-90 days of “saved money” to make payroll if the whole system collapses under its own weight. The ACA website is a good example of what can happen if the programming is not up to speed or scalable. Hopefully, the only “October Surprise” you get is on Halloween and not a trip to the bank to secure emergency funds.

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