There is no doubt that ICD-10 has already had an impact on your practice's financial picture both before the transition and likely long after Oct. 1, 2015. Many predict a sharp rise in claims denials and drop in revenue in the months after the transition.
What to expect before October
Between now and Oct. 1, every medical practice will have some expenses related to the ICD-10 transition. There are new coding manuals to buy, training to attend, etc. A small practice can expect to spend between $2,000 to $3,000 per provider to make the conversion to ICD-10, according to a survey conducted by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management. The sooner you plan for those expenses, the more you can spread them out.
Now is also the time to consider setting aside cash reserves or applying for a line of credit to help mitigate revenue reductions after Oct. 1. No matter how prepared your practice is you have no guarantees about how the process will go with your payers. This is a significant change, which is why some experts are predicting a 30 percent or greater reduction in revenue for the first three months to six months. Prepare for a reduction of up to 50 percent for a minimum of three months just to be safe. You need to keep the lights on as you get those claims paid and things smooth out with billing using ICD-10.