Code assignments and documentation for Radiology coding and billing will be very different in the world of ICD-10.

A seven-character code will need to be constructed—either for medical-surgical procedures or ancillary services. These include imaging, and radiation oncology and nuclear medicine.

One of 34 possible values has been assigned for each character in each code. The same letter or number placed in a different character means something different, which is why each character’s physical position is important. Values are the numbers 0 through 9 and all letters in the alphabet except I and O. according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the reason for excluding I and O is because they look too much like the numbers 1 and 0 and could cause confusion. The value assigned depends upon specific details of the procedure performed.

Then, there are changes to Radiology coding documentation that need to be made, starting now.

The following steps are recommended to help improve documentation and reimbursement for radiology healthcare revenue cycle management:

  • Exam titles should never be listed in the findings section or impression.
  • Clinical indications should be listed separately from the findings and impression.
  • Exam titles should have all elements for correct code assignment, including modality (eg, MR, ultrasound, CT, X-ray), anatomical site, views, and whether contrast was used.
  • Exams should be succinct—for example, upright, oblique, decubitus views of the abdomen CT chest with and without contrast.
  • Exam and clinical indication should be void of ambiguous, nonspecific, or unfamiliar terms or abbreviations. Avoid phrases without necessary descriptors, such as abdomen complete or abdomen series, or pulmonary embolism study.

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There’s much to test, transition and teach radiology revenue cycle management teams, which is why already is conducting training and testing. The time is now.

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 Radiology revenue cycle management including testing. The time is now to move forward with the ICD-10 support you need to keep your Radiology coding one step ahead. But it takes special expertise in Radiology coding, billing and collections that includes team training and system testing. The following is an update on testing from Optum to help Radiology 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 Radiology 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 Diagnostic Radiology medical practices. is the results-proven alternative for healthcare revenue cycle management, with a niche specialization in Radiology medical coding and billing that generates unprecedented results and builds profitable medical practices. Not only is 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, partners with medical practices throughout the U.S. to optimize revenue for hospital based and practice based physicians. For more information, visit

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