ICD-10 from the Patient's Perspective

We know you’re working hard to get your clinic ready for ICD-10. From the front office to the back, every person in your practice is gearing up for October 1, 2015—except for your patients. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, in most cases, your patients don’t even need to know about ICD-10. Have you ever explained ICD-9 codes to a patient? Probably not—and your patients have likely never asked about them, either. So why would that change along with the healthcare industry’s code set?

Hint: It wouldn’t.

Patients won’t suddenly develop the urge to learn about medical billing just because you’re switching to ICD-10. The majority of your patients are much more concerned with getting better than they are about the codes you’re using to bill their insurances. Besides, informing patients of ICD-10’s demand for greater documentation specificity might cause them to unnecessarily question your pre-ICD-10 documentation practices.

Ultimately, when it comes to switching code sets, what your patients don’t know won’t hurt them—unless you expect your clinic’s productivity to take a deep dive, especially with respect to the speed of patient intake. Even in that situation, you don’t need to spend 30 minutes explaining (or complaining about) the transition to ICD-10. Instead, simply tell patients that, due to new government regulations, your staff must complete additional paperwork, which has caused some temporary front office delays. Any patient who’s had to file taxes will cut you some slack.

Luckily, you’ve got one less thing to worry about when it comes to preparing your practice for ICD-10. To put all of your coding concerns to rest, don’t miss our upcoming ICD-10 Bootcamp webinar on August 31, 2015. Register here to save your spot.