ICD-10 Roundup: Private Practice Radiologists Share How Prepared They Were for ICD-10

June 7th, 2016 - Practice Suite   
Categories:   Electronic Medical Records (EMR/EHR)   Diagnosis Coding   Practice Management  

In October 2015, the entire U.S. medical community made a controversial shift to the 10th Edition of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The road to ICD-10 was marked with multiple delays, primarily due to concerns that physician-owned practices were not prepared for the transition. In addition to updating EHR software, physicians' offices needed to invest significant time and resources to train their staff on the new diagnosis standard.

How big of a challenge was this transition to ICD-10? One of the specialties expected to be hit hardest was radiology. So we recently interviewed multiple radiologists in private practice to learn how they prepared for ICD-10, and their experience in making the transition. Here's what we learned:

Has ICD-10 been effective? Has the transition to ICD-10 been more or less turbulent than you expected?

Here's how they responded:

"Overall, yes, the transition has been effective. It's been less turbulent than I expected. The main reason is that our practice began preparing well in advance and we were able to engage the enthusiastic support of the physicians working with administration and billing to ensure a smooth transition."
- Robert L. Falk, MD, is a staff radiologist with Radiology Specialists of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.

"I think the classification is a good start to a very complex issue, but as with all of these types of issues, it will need some further refinement. Since we were early adopters, the transition has not been too difficult for us. We were working with it over the past three years so we had a lot of experience."
- Dr. Joel C. Robertson is the founder and CEO of Robertson Health, a multi-faceted organization dedicated to making a lasting impact on healthcare around the world through a network of for-profit and non-profit organizations.

"There have been no major differences in our practice. The transition has been less turbulent than we expected. We were warned that it would be disruptive, but our billing people did a great job and we were ready for it."
- Jay Sokolow MD FACR, is a Connecticut-based radiologist who received his medical degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than three decades.

"I have had no major problems with implementation of ICD-10. So far, it has been effective. The transition has been less turbulent than we expected. The billing company was prepared and there was no major impact."
- Dr. Ari Geselowitz is a State College, Penn.-based radiologist who's been in practice for three decades since graduating from Penn State University College of Medicine.

"Yes, I believe ICD-10 has been effective. It has been less turbulent that we expected, largely due to the use of AllScripts as our EHR/EMR program. ICD-10 codes were pre-mapped to existing ICD-9 codes, and this made a tremendous difference."
- Joshua Davidson, MD, MPH is a Lead Clinician and Allergy/Immunology Specialist with HealthCare Partners Medical Group in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Even though it's still too early to determine the long-term effectiveness and impact of ICD-10, there's at least one organization that has declared implementation a victory.

"The Cooperative Exchange, the National Clearinghouse Association, is pleased to report that the ICD-10 implementation has been a non-event attributed to good ICD-10 planning, education, testing and industry collaboration," the organization said in a statement earlier this year. "Overall, the majority of the industry has transitioned with minimal material impact to date."

This physician survey was conducted by PracticeSuite, helping over 25,000 medical professionals worldwide.


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