Official ICD-10 Date Announced by CMS, But Don't Train Yet Says The Strategic Chiropractor

The final, official ICD-10 implementation date has been announced by CMS. Even though doctors of chiropractic will be affected by this change, billing expert Dr. Tom Necela of The Strategic Chiropractor cautions about training too soon.

Seattle, WA, August 30, 2012 --( On August 24, 2012, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their long-awaited announcement regarding the upcoming mandatory transition to the ICD-10 code set. The final "official'' ICD-10 date will be October 1, 2014 (the same one year delay originally announced last Spring).

Some in the chiropractic community have started preparations early and seminars to train staff on ICD-10 changes already exist. Billing and coding expert, Dr. Tom Necela of The Strategic Chiropractor disagrees with this approach. "I think taking courses on ICD-10 two years in advance is too soon. No one will retain the knowledge that long without daily use and you will just wind up having to take another course closer to the implementation date."

Depending on their role in the chiropractic practice, there are several things Dr. Necela recommends that chiropractic personnel can begin doing now.

Doctors of chiropractic and practice owners should be aware that both the doctor and the staff will have to learn ICD-10 changes. Since the ICD-10 represents a completely new diagnosis code set that does not at all resemble the former, it will be essential for all team members to learn how diagnosis codes are structured in ICD-10.

Many chiropractors have heard that their EMR systems will take care of the implementation. However, Dr. Necela again cautions against this: ''Certainly, if chiropractors are already using EMR, it should make the transition easier, but I wouldn’t totally depend on your EMR company to provide you with training sufficient to master ICD-10 coding.''

Staff members, billing personnel or office managers should also plan when they are going to be trained on ICD-10 coding. Once ICD-10 goes “live” it will be too late to learn this new language, as you will be behind the curve. But it may not be feasible for the entire office to take time off to get the training necessary so advanced planning will ensure success.

Assuming the October 2014 deadline stays intact, Dr. Necela's final recommendation for all chiropractic personnel would be to begin training anywhere from 3-6 months before the deadline. Necela states that: "Even billing industry experts in the medical fields (who have much more to implement than chiropractors) admit that ICD-10 training will not take years to master so it’s important not to start training too soon, as you will not retain the information and you will essentially be wasting time and money."
The Strategic Chiropractor
Dr. Tom Necela
(800) 577-0321