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Transition tips for ICD-9 to ICD-10 Friday, September 18th, 2015 3 Friday Flashbacks: Saved by the Bell, Office Space, Full House Friday, August 21st, 2015 Clarification from CMS on ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes, “Families,” and Other Recent Changes Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 What CMS’ new ICD-10 transition plan means (and what it doesn’t mean). Friday, July 17th, 2015 ICD-10 Testing Success Story: ThedaCare Health System Monday, May 18th, 2015 ZirMed Announces Successful End-to-End ICD-10 Testing Results Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 Testing with Payers: Feedback and Good News from Two Blues and a Commercial Payer Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 CMS Seeks Volunteers for End-to-End Testing in January: Forms due October 3 Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 Now Available! Road to 10: CMS Webcast Series for Small Physician Practices Friday, August 22nd, 2014 HHS officially sets October 1, 2015 as the new ICD-10 implementation date Friday, August 1st, 2014 WEDI ICD-10 Readiness Survey—Make Your Voice Heard by August 21! Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 Talk Ten Tuesday, July 1: Testing Processes and Best Practices Friday, June 27th, 2014 WEDI Summer Forum on ICD-10 and HPID Friday, June 13th, 2014 Partial Code Freeze Extended Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 CMS appears to set October 1, 2015 as new ICD-10 implementation date Friday, May 2nd, 2014 ICD-10 Summit: Developing an Industry Action Plan for ICD-10 Implementation Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 ZirMed’s ICD-10 Monthly Webinar Series Thursday, March 13th, 2014 The Delay Is an Opportunity — Not a Reason to Put Off Action Thursday, April 17th, 2014 ZirMed and the Recent ICD-10 Delay Thursday, April 17th, 2014 CMS website offers first statement in response to legislation delaying ICD-10 Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 President signs bill—ICD-10 is officially delayed by a minimum of one year. Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 Senate passes bill delaying ICD-10—President could sign into law as soon as this week. Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 ICD-10 delayed? House bill passes; still waiting for Senate vote. Thursday, March 27th, 2014 CMS End-to-End testing: ZirMed Registers as Volunteer Participant Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 Results from the First Medicare Testing Week Thursday, April 10th, 2014 Road to 10: ICD-10 Training Webinar Series Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 6 Steps to ICD-10 Success Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 CMS launches new educational site: eHealth University Friday, February 28th, 2014 ZirMed to present in upcoming WEDI ICD-10 webinar Thursday, February 20th, 2014 AMA Seeks to Stop ICD-10, Cites Soaring Costs Monday, February 17th, 2014 Diagnosis Usage Report Thursday, February 13th, 2014 eHealth Summit: Road to ICD-10 Thursday, February 6th, 2014 ICD-10 Testing Monday, February 3rd, 2014 WEDI Suggests Additional Medicare ICD-10 Testing to HHS Monday, January 20th, 2014 Register for ICD-10 Testing Week: March 3-7 Friday, January 17th, 2014 ICD-10 Readiness Statement Monday, January 6th, 2014 ICD-10 and Post-Acute Setting Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 ICD-10 and the Physician Office: The Impact on Top Specialties Thursday, November 21st, 2013 ICD-10 Training: The Steps You Take Today Will Save You Time and Money Tomorrow Thursday, October 31st, 2013 ZirMed ICD-10 Training Essentials Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 Implement, Train, and Test Thursday, July 18th, 2013 Countdown to ICD-10: Prepared for Success? Or, Prepared to Fail? Sunday, June 30th, 2013 Plan, Organize, and Assess Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 Where Can I Find ICD-10 Help? Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 Getting Ready for ICD-10 Monday, May 13th, 2013 Why is ICD-10 Important to My Practice? Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 Understanding ICD-10 Friday, April 12th, 2013
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To successfully implement ICD-10, you need the right plan, the right solutions, and the best support—and that’s exactly what ZirMed delivers. We provide resources to help you prepare and plan, offer solutions to help you test and transition, and deliver insight to help you take the right steps the first time. Make ICD-10 less daunting—create a plan for success with ZirMed.

See step-by-step instructions and resources on implementing ICD-10 below.

Step 1: Plan & Organize

Gain an understanding of the regulatory mandate, give your practice decision makers and staff a high-level overview of ICD-10 and get buy-in to begin implementation preparation. Get organized and figure out what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.


Review the new regulations and requirements.

Prepare a high level report for physicians and staff members to inform them of the upcoming changes.

Perform a high-level assessment of how a diagnosis code is utilized in your practice.

Prepare a high-level report for decision makers to describe ICD-10 implementation impact and what action is required to ensure compliance. It should outline the impact on documentation, billing systems, coding systems, IT, and all other areas.

Meet with practice decision makers to obtain buy-in on the urgency of ICD-10 and the need to begin preparing now.

Establish an ICD-10 project team or point person to oversee the transition. This team will be responsible for overseeing the ICD-10 transition, and will vary based on the size of your organization. Larger practices should have a team with representatives from different departments (e.g., executive leadership, physicians, and IT). Smaller practices may only have one or two individuals responsible for helping the practice make the switch to ICD-10.

Develop and complete a Project Plan that meets the physician's practice and staff needs. Identify specific deadlines and person(s) responsible for each subsequent phase. Keep in mind the implementation deadline.

Establish a risk management identification, documentation, mitigation strategies and contingency plan.

Begin communicating with staff and business partners about ICD-10.

The assessment step will identify changes to clinical documentation and medical coding procedures within the clinical practice. You need to really understand where ICD-9 is currently used and where ICD-10 will be used, and what changes in your practice will need to be made. This is where you really try to work out more of the details.


Identify processes and systems which require ICD code inputs, process ICD codes, or produce outputs using ICD codes.

Verify with your staff where codes are used, such as manuals, superbills, practice management software, and billing software

Assess business and policy impacts - Identify clinical and business processes, policies and supporting systems that must be changed to accommodate ICD-10

Assess technological impacts

Evaluate all systems, coding applications, and software to ensure compatibility with ICD-10. Note: Systems must support both ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets for a period of time.

Conduct a risk analysis and create a remediation strategy.

Evaluate clinical documentation to determine if current specificity allows an ICD-10 code to be assigned.

Assess by disease process, by provider, by specialty, or by group.

Run a report to indicate the most frequently used diagnosis codes within the practice.

Share results of assessment with providers to educate on new specificity requirements of ICD-10.

Identify mission critical vendors and electronic trading partners to ensure that they meet your clinical and administrative functional requirements. Evaluate their offerings and capabilities.

Determine what plans your mission critical vendors have in order to make sure they are in compliance with the regulation and meeting the deadline.

Determine what personnel will need to be trained on the changes.

Assess skill levels/gaps of personnel for future needs and training. Develop a training plan.

Identify and assess readiness of vendors, clearinghouses, and other business associates whose involvement is essential to ICD-10 implementation;

Identify mission critical payers to determine any anticipated changes in reimbursement based on ICD-10 or any anticipated modifications to fee schedules. Make necessary plans and mitigation strategies.

Review contracts and service level agreements to identify any impacts of ICD-10 and make changes as necessary.

Document and communicate impact assessment findings

Step 3: Complete Organizational Prep

This step is where you will identify how you are going to go from your current ICD-9 world to the future ICD-10 world in a step-by-step fashion. This phase of implementation involves organization-wide upgrading/changing of business processes, information systems, software applications, health information management systems, education of medical billers and coders, as well as clinical documentation education for medical staff.

Remember, ICD-10’s increased specificity requires more detailed clinical documentation. Clinical Link—ZirMed’s HIPAA-compliant messaging platform—automates task tracking and notes, interoperates with all PM and EHR systems, and more. To learn more, visit


Create a budget.

Figure out how much the ICD-10 transition will cost, this should be comprehensive and include all costs from planning phase to final transition.

Consider software & hardware, training and education, testing, staff etc.

Secure funding for the project.

Identify system migration strategies

Implement issue tracking with mitigation strategies.

Work with vendors to schedule timeframes for practice management/EMR/coding systems upgrades, testing and integration.

Upgrade systems: Implement business processes, information systems, software applications and technical modifications

Work with vendor or develop plan to address claims incurred with dates of service before 10/1/2014 which will be coded with ICD-9 codes and for claims incurred with dates of serviced after 10/1/2014, which need to run concurrently.

Obtain, verify and document that the most recent version of ICD-10 codes have been updated.

Conduct high-level training on ICD-10 for clinicians and coders to prepare for testing (e.g., clinical documentation, software updates)

Step 4: Train

In-depth training should occur 6-8 months prior to the implementation date.


Identify the level of education needed for each set of staff members: coders, clinicians, physicians and additional staff

Review coder and clinician preparation

Pick best training options

Begin detailed ICD-10 coding training – ICD-10 coding training, procedural training and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) initiatives

Step 5: Test

Before you implement something, you need to know and make sure that it works. You do this every time you are implementing something new. Test all your business processes and IT systems (internal testing). Test your transactions and medical claims with your Trading Partners (external testing). ICD-10 codes must work in all aspects of your organization.


Create a test plan and test scripts

Use ICD-10 codes for diagnoses your practice sees most often.

Make sure you test using your high volume, high revenue impacted codes

Start testing ICD-10 codes and systems with your practice’s coding, billing, and clinical staff.

Test ICD-10 compliance across internal policies, processes, and systems to ensure compliance.

Re-evaluate clinical documentation for ICD-10 readiness. 90% accuracy is recommended.

Test knowledge of physicians and staff to validate preparedness for ICD-10.

Determine what percentage (%) of mission critical external Trading Partners you will be testing.

Begin testing claims and other transactions using ICD-10 codes with business trading partners such as payers, clearinghouses, and billing services

Complete end-to-end testing with the identified percentage (%) of mission critical external trading partners if available.

Step 6: Transition–Implement & Evaluate

How do you actually make the jump and what do you need to look for while you are making that transition? Appoint a Post ICD-10 Committee to review implementation results, evaluate success against established criteria and to identify what works and doesn’t work, especially in revenue cycle, HIM, and IT areas. The Post ICD-10 Committee must quickly identify any issues, establish feedback loops and work the established solution path to completion.


Identify Go-Live tasks and associated actions.

Prepare and establish the production and go-live environments.

Create a back-up plan in the event there is a problem with moving to production.

Develop a plan for post implementation data analysis – focus on identifying high volume code/code categories.

Prepare your practice to take corrective action

Identify Operational impacts and strategy and key transition components with respective action.

Develop post-Implementation audit processes and procedures

Contingency planning – identify what to do if payers aren’t ready or if vendors aren’t ready

Complete ICD-10 transition for full compliance. Upgrades to systems should be pushed live and systems should be turned on in production mode

Begin using both ICD-10 and ICD-9 code sets in tandem.

ICD-9 codes continue to be used for services provided before the deadline and ICD-10 codes required for services provided on or after the deadline.

Make all new policies and procedures effective

Monitor systems and the impact of ICD-10 on your business operations and revenue

Re-evaluate medical record documentation for compliance through readiness assessments. Re-train providers as necessary

Analyze any claim denials and make appropriate adjustments to reduce them

Assess whether new policies are being followed and the effectiveness of each. Compare expectations to actual results.

Monitor and measure coding and billing productivity. Set goals and plan for ongoing training to improve productivity.

Audit systems and software for accuracy.

Analyze all changes and look for gaps between what were expected and actual results to determine areas that need additional adjustments.

Provide additional training as needed in the areas where deficiencies are identified.

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ICD-10 Assessment

Fill out the questionaire below to find out where to start the transition to ICD-10.

Phase I - Plan & Organize: Does everyone in your company understand the impact that ICD-10 will have on your organization, payers, vendors, clearinghouses, and partners?

Phase II - Assess: Do you know how much the transition to ICD-10 will cost (system upgrades, training, etc.) and have you budgeted appropriately?

Phase III - Implement: Does your organization have a start date to begin formal ICD-10 training for all personnel affected?

Phase IV - Testing: Have you tested all of your business processes and IT systems with ICD-10 codes to ensure that ICD-10 codes work in all aspects of your organization?

Phase V - Training: Do you have a training program for your staff that begins 6-8 months before the deadline?

Phase VI - Transition: Does your organization have a transition plan that covers follow-up, evaluation, contingency, and risk management?

Fill out the assessment form to see your results.