AquinaOctober 15, 2015

Small Healthcare Related Businesses Grapple with ICD-10 Concerns

Small Healthcare Related Businesses Grapple with ICD-10 Concerns

After years of discussion and much deliberation small healthcare businesses are finally grappling with ICD-10 concerns as it finally arrived October 1st, 2015. From this date, it is mandatory for all healthcare establishments to use this new arrangement of codes.

Though in many ways, the change was necessary, the compulsory implementation could become a nightmare for healthcare businesses of all sizes. The new code set contains five times as many codes as its predecessor, the ICD-9. The impact of this change on all healthcare facilities is substantial and small businesses in healthcare are particularly vulnerable because they do not have the financial backing of larger organizations.

With such a massive increase in the number of codes – 5 times more – it is inevitable that a lot of new modalities will need to be introduced to replace older procedures. To start with, implementing the new codes requires much more documentation. All types of forms and plans will also have to be updated including health plan contracts and how coverage is calculated. All software and other information technology will need to be modified to be more compliant with the new code set.

Moreover, because the change is so extensive, staff and physicians themselves have to undergo education and training in how to properly incorporate the new coding into their billing system and how to maintain records accurately. Added to all of this is the possible disruption of cash flow as all parties, from providers to billers and insurance companies understand and adjust to the new coding requirements. As health plans make changes to their contracts to include the more specific codes, they may also amend their payment schedules, resulting in significant cash flow delays. The financial impact from the ICD-10 may not be felt by many business until later in the fourth quarter. If codes do match between the provider and the payer, it could lead to rejected claims. If this happens in large, the re-submissions could lead to a huge backlog late in 2015.

Understanding the Cost Implications of ICD-10

Making all of these changes could potentially result in increased costs to physicians. Administrative and clinical staff and providers will require an estimated 10 to 16 hours of training. The cost of this training could vary depending on the type of training materials used. However, even at the lowest end, it won’t be cheap.

The time required for billers, providers and insurance companies to make the transition could be significant, resulting in extended delays in payments. While larger healthcare corporations may have sufficient funds to cover them in the interim period, smaller healthcare businesses may not be so fortunate. In the most extreme cases, these delays in payment could force them to shut down. The best way for these businesses to stay operational is by putting in place some type of credit facility so they have access to emergency funding in case of extended delays in payment.

We are one of the most trusted financing partners for small healthcare businesses. We make it easy for you to get the funds you need when payments are delayed with a favorable credit approval process and flexible repayment terms. You can receive of funding from $10,000 up to $250,000 or more depending on your business cash flows and experience. The terms of repayment can be discussed and tailored to suit your business cash flows.

The easy credit approval and customized repayment terms offered by us are designed to help small healthcare businesses tide over the major cash flow delays that could result from ICD-10.