Is Your Medical Practice ICD-10 Ready?

I would like to welcome guest blogger, Debra Hamilton who specializes in physician practice lending at BankUnited located in Sarasota, Florida. Her article is extremely timely for physician and their practice administrators concerning updating their technology and ICD coding.

The International Classification of Diseases, (ICD) is a clinical cataloging system which physicians and other providers use to code all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures recorded in hospitals and physician practices.  ICD codes are used to properly note diseases on health records, track epidemiological trends and assist in medical reimbursement decisions.  After a series of lengthy delays, the current  ICD-9 (9th Edition) will be replaced by ICD-10(10th Edition) for the entire U.S. healthcare industry on Oct. 1, 2015. The new ICD-10 codes offer many more classification options compared to those found in predecessor ICD-9,  thus accounting for modern advances in clinical treatment and medical devices.

As we quickly approach the October 1st deadline, these profound changes prompt the question:  “Is your practice ICD-10 ready?”   If the answer is a resounding “NO!”,   there are 3 things you can do right now to get closer to a “YES!”.

  1. Ensure you have access to Cash Reserves:

The AMA  recommends that a medical practice have access to 3- 6 months of reserves to allow for potential interruptions and delays in reimbursements.  Accumulating that level of cash reserves is challenging for most practices.  The best solution is to have access to cash through a line of credit.  This allows you to draw money as needed and pay it back as the delays ease and the normal flow of payments resume.


  1. Identify your top 20 diagnosis codes and train your staff:

Understanding your top 20 diagnosis codes in ICD-10 and training your staff to use these codes for services rendered on or after October  1st , will help to account for the majority of your revenue.


  1. Watch Acknowledgement Reports:

Being able to identify problems with submitted claims immediately will be critical.  Watching acknowledgment reports after you submit a claim will allow you to promptly address any issues or concerns.




Debra has been in the Financial Services Industry for 28 years and specializes in Physician Practice Lending.  Debra is the Vice President and Branch Sales Leader at BankUnited  located at

6511 S Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34231 (941)-921-1115

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