ICD-10 and Neurosurgery: Updates Require Vigilance in Medical Coding and Billing

/, ICD-10, Neurosurgery/ICD-10 and Neurosurgery: Updates Require Vigilance in Medical Coding and Billing

How do the new codes for neurophysiologic studies performed during surgical procedures affect you?

Updates in Neurosurgery coding and billing include:

  • Confirm Chronicity For Nontraumatic Subdural Hemorrhage
  • Pinpoint site to accurately report contusions of head in ICD-10
  • Changes to the CPT language for analysis and programming of Neurostimulators
  • Clarifications on the use of needle aspiration of bone marrow for bone grafting
  • New code for pre-sacral spinal arthrodesis
  • Changes to the percutaneous sacral nerve codes
  • New codes for angiography that may impact surgeons doing endovascular treatment

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These are just two of the thousands of Neurosurgery coding updates to be aware of and prepare for. Just how does your Neurosurgery medical coding and billing rate when it comes to preparations for ICD-10? Yours might be among the 55.4 percent of all medical practices (as of June 2013) in the United States that hasn’t started or has barely begun preparations.

Even if your practice is in the remaining 45.6 percent, you’re most likely in process but perhaps not making the progress you were hoping to in order to meet the Oct. 1, 2014 implementation deadline.

Are there aspects of the implementation causing concern for your healthcare revenue cycle management? If so, you’re not alone. According to a June MGMA survey of physician practices, (total respondents: responses were received from 1,200 practices in which more than 55,000 physicians practice) there are still many concerns regarding implementation such as cost, difficulty, extra time and productivity that are interfering or slowing things down. In a category of “very concerned”:

  • Overall cost of converting to ICD-10
  • Loss of clinician productivity after implementation
  • Changes to clinical documentation
  • Loss of productivity of coding staff after implementation
55.6 percent
70.1 percent
69.8 percent
67.3 percent

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Also, physicians feel the following will be much more difficult to accomplish under ICD-10:

  • Ability of clinician to select appropriate diagnosis code
    Much more difficult 74.9 percent
  • Ability of coding staff to select appropriate diagnosis code
    Much more difficult 59.3 percent

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Amidst these worries and concerns, there are ways to gain traction and preserve the health of your Neurosurgery coding, billing and collections during this transition.

One of the keys is to improve Neurosurgery coding documentation. The time is now—before ICD-10 goes live. Some medical practices are under the impression that improved clinical documentation will occur once the ICD-10 transition is complete. There’s no reason to wait until the implementation deadline to improve your clinical documentation. Not only is better medical practice coding documentation vital to good patient care today, it is critical to a successful ICD-10 implementation. Failure to fully and properly document a patient encounter has many medical, financial, and even regulatory ramifications, but will also significantly impede progress in moving to ICD-10.

Improving Neurosurgery billing and coding documentation will decrease the likelihood of these instances, especially with the increase in codes in ICD-10. All of the information required to code according to ICD-10 is information that is necessary to an individual patient’s care and is already documented in the medical record. Therefore, the primary focus for all physicians now is to identify what is included in the documentation and make an assessment of their current practices.

Begin by asking these questions among your practice team members:

  • “What are you documenting today?”
  • “Are there ways you can more appropriately document?”
  • “How can you ensure that you document accurately for ICD-10 and for good patient care?”

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The codes will affect so many facets of health care downstream, ranging from quality measures to analytics, research, payment, and surveillance, that they must be as accurate as possible, and accurate coding cannot be achieved without the physician’s efforts to provide good documentation.

So how do you hardwire good, solid documentation practices?

  • Develop the Relationship between Coders and Clinicians
  • Institute Strategies for Training
  • Locate the Resources for Help

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Through formal training and system testing, revMD.com prepares Neurosurgery medical coding and billing for ICD-10 readiness.

Testing also begins now!

What is your scheduled date to begin ICD-10 testing with your practice management system?

One industry expert already has begun the ICD-10 transition for Neurosurgery revenue cycle management including testing. The time is now to move forward with the ICD-10 support you need to keep your Neurosurgery coding one step ahead. But it takes special expertise in Neurosurgery coding, billing and collections that includes team training and system testing. The following is an update on testing from Optum to help Neurosurgery billing and coding meet the Oct. 1, 2014 deadline.

ICD-10 functionality for Optum Professional CAC was first released to beta clients in June 2013 and will be generally available to the full client base in October 2013. Beta clients will have access to a dedicated beta system. Details regarding the site configuration updates required for ICD-10 processing, along with billing rule and straight-to-bill migration plans, will be communicated in late summer 2013 in advance of General Availability.

NLP updates of ICD-10 capabilities will be released at regular intervals (8 weeks) to all ICD-10 CAC clients prior to Oct 1, 2014 Release efforts will include focus on beta customer expectations and effectively build towards national engine performance goals. After October 1, releases for ICD-10 will follow the normal update cycle for the production LifeCode NLP engine.

Special expertise in outsourced Neurosurgery revenue cycle management is not a preference nowadays but a necessity, especially as it related to ICD-10 implementation. It takes unsurpassed attention to detail and continual follow through to not only decrease compliance risk but also generate the greatest percentage of revenue for Neurosurgery medical practices.

revMD.com is the results-proven alternative for healthcare revenue cycle management, with a niche specialization in Neurosurgery medical coding and billing that generates unprecedented results and builds profitable medical practices. Not only is revMD.com the industry expert in physician coding, billing and collections, they are the professionals for seamless ICD-10 implementation. Leveraging a history of industry wide success spanning 26 years, revMD.com partners with medical practices throughout the U.S. to optimize revenue for hospital based and practice based physicians. For more information, visit www.revmd.com.

About the Author

2013-08-20T09:10:16+00:00