The sky may have felt like it was falling in October 2015 given the implementation of ICD-10 and a whole new set of CM codes.
Even if transitioning your practice wasn’t as painful as predicted, not having a firm grasp on the correct codes or a system that helps you process claims means more claims rejected, extra time spent, and therefore money lost.
What’s more, the grace period will be up before you know it, and the harsh reality for those who haven’t embraced ICD-10 will be an increase in claim denials. An electronic claims processing system can help your practice stay up-to-date with coding and so much more.
For many practices, the transition to ICD-10 meant more headaches and more time spent checking claims for
the correct codes. Those with an electronic claims processing service, however, found the transition to be relatively painless because their providers made ICD-10 claim tools and resources available. Nick Payne, DC, is the executive director of the Kentucky Association of Chiropractors, and he says having an electronic claims processing service made switching to new codes a no-brainer.
“The transition [to ICD-10] was easy,” Payne says. “My electronic claims processing service even checks my claims to make sure dates of service after October 1 do not contain ICD-9 codes.”
Christopher D. Jo, DC, owner of 50th & France Chiropractic & Wellness, found that his system helps his staff feel better about using ICD-10 codes.
“Our electronic claims processing service gave our billing staff and clinic the confidence to know that they were on top of all changes with ICD- 10” he says.
Offices who didn’t find the transition easy were the ones who failed to prepare in advance or who didn’t have an electronic claims processing system in place to help guide them through the switch.
“Many offices did have problems with the switch to ICD-10, but those offices did not prepare for the transition,” Payne says. “If you used the tools that were available, the transition seemed to go well.”
One clear advantage of using an electronic claims processing service is having your claims double-checked before they’re submitted. Even if you have a pretty good grasp of the new
ICD-10 codes, having your work verified means errors can be corrected before they are sent to the payer.
“Our electronic claims processing service ensures my codes are the appropriate codes for the insurer I am submitting to,” Payne says. “They scrub each claim before it is sent and notify us of any errors that can be corrected before we send it to an insurer. This has reduced the number of resubmits- sons we have to do, saving us time and money.”
In such a competitive healthcare market, saving time and money might mean the difference between a practice that is just getting by and one that is achieving new levels of success.
Some systems have easy-to-use front-end edit processes in place so that claim handling error detection happen quickly and efficiently. Mark Knoll, DC, owner of Knoll Chiropractic Clinic in Omaha, has a processing service that color codes the errors in claims to save him and his practice valuable time.
“Our system has front-end edits (red light, yellow light, green light) to help us manage claims and make edits quickly to speed up claims processing,” he says. “It also helps us to remember modifiers and make sure codes are correct so that claims can get processed more quickly.”
Having an electronic claims processing system also means quicker reimbursements for your practice so you aren’t wasting time waiting to get paid.
“The biggest change has been quick reimbursement,” Jo says. “What used to take more than 30 days to get paid on a claim, now happens within a matter of days or a week.”
Getting paid faster also means there is more usable capital for paying your overhead, expenses, and for investment back into your practice.
“We also have improved cash flow,” Knoll says. “We submit claims twice weekly with the touch of a few buttons.”
Time is money
Overall, electronic claims processing services help streamline your practice and ensure you aren’t wasting time trying to figure out codes or grappling with resubmissions and appeals. Don’t let the implementation of ICD-10 and the new codes trip you up and decrease the cash flow in your practice because of denials or slow reimbursements.
As with any business, time is money, so by using a system that saves you time, you are able to focus on giving your patients the highest quality of care.
Casey Nighbor is the associate editor of Chiropractic Economics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-395- 3389, or through ChiroEco.com.