Key Questions to Ask
The transition to ICD-10 is going to be a monumental task. In our opinion, almost no healthcare organization will be able to reach ICD-10 compliance without help from healthcare technology vendors.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out a list of questions that can help healthcare organizations assess vendor’s readiness capabilities:
- Do your current vendor contracts cover your practice’s ICD-10-related needs?
- What is the vendor’s timeline for the ICD-10 transition?
- Will your vendor install products well before the October 1, 2014, deadline, so you can begin testing them in 2013?
- Has your vendor scheduled with you to test your system with your trading partners?
- Will all your vendor’s current products and applications be updated for ICD-10?
- Has your vendor scheduled training for your staff on the ICD-10 system updates?
- Do your vendor’s products give you the ability to search for codes by the ICD-10 alphabetic and tabular indexes? By clinical concept?’
- Will your vendor’s product allow for coding in both ICD-9 and ICD-10 to accommodate transactions with dates of service before October 1, 2014, and transactions with dates of service after October 1, 2014?
Additionally, make sure you have someone in-house to manage your side of the ICD-10 transition. Your vendor will be a key partner, but you need to ensure your facility is doing everything it can to support your vendor in meeting your transition needs.
As a result of the answers to the above questions, if you discover your present vendor will not be able to meet your transition needs, the following questions will help in your search for a potential, new vendor; they are slightly different:
- Will your products be ready for the ICD-10 compliance date?
- How does your product simplify my organization’s transition to ICD-10?
- How does the functionality offered by your system compare with my current system?
- Does your implementation require a complete system conversion?
- Based on what I already have in place, how much will it cost to convert to your system?
- What are the costs of maintenance for your product?
- Will there be training on your products?
— Does training cost extra?
— How much time will training take?
- What other healthcare organizations are currently using your products/services?
Hopefully these questions will help you assess the readiness of your present vendor and/or help you in your search for a new ICD-10 transition partner.