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want to talk with their staff members to get a sense of whether they will be resistant to change or embrace the effort, pick up new things quickly or require repeated training opportuni- ties. Based on these conversa- tions, practices can plan an effective training program and anticipate how productivity will be affected throughout the implementation process. Thinking about possible pro- ductivity slowdowns can help inform a staffi ng plan and indi-

Ken Bradley is the vice president of strategic planning at Navicure, a medical claims clearinghouse. For more information about the 5010 and ICD-10 implementations, including detailed preparation timelines and more, visit For more on Navicure:

cate whether additional staff will be required. 4. Understand vendor partners’ plans. Now is the time to reach out to clearinghouse vendors, practice-management software vendors and other vendor partners to get a sense of their plans for ICD-10. Practices should ask their partners about how they plan to support ICD-10, as well as when they will be ready to support it. The more ICD-10 support products a practice can install before the deadline date, the better. However, practices must ensure that any updated software can process both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. This will allow the practice to train staff members ahead of time and become familiar with using new products. Ideally, a practice should try dual coding so staff members adjust to the new code set before they are required to use it. Also, having dual-coding capability allows a practice to participate in testing for ICD-10 and work through any possible hiccups before the go-live date. 5. Garner buy-in from the entire practice. While it is im- portant to designate an individual or individuals to spearhead the ICD-10 endeavor, practices must understand that one person cannot singlehandedly drive this effort. It is critical for the entire practice to realize that the transition to ICD-10 will be a practice-wide initiative requiring everyone’s buy-in, support and participation. Staff members must actively com- mit to understanding the importance of ICD-10 and using it where necessary.

There are many organizations offering ICD-10 resources that can help build awareness and garner buy-in. Some of these resources include CMS, the Centers for Disease Con- trol and Prevention (CDC), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), AAPC and the Health- care Financial Management Association (HFMA). Not only can these sources provide background regarding ICD-10, they can also help a practice stay current on new developments related to the code set. It is certainly true that ICD-10 implementation will re- quire hard work, but it is not an insurmountable task. Keep- ing focused, dividing the project into manageable steps and setting aside dedicated time to work on the effort will keep practices on the right track and prevent an overwhelming implementation experience.

HMT 11

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