Dr. R. A. Foxworth, FICC, MCS-P

Dr. R. A. Foxworth, FICC, MCS-P

I see you, ICD-10 procrastinators.

I meet you at chiropractic conventions and seminars. I talk to you on the phone. I read about you in really unnerving statistics, like the one I saw recently from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that says that only 25% of healthcare providers have begun external testing, and that over 33% state that have no idea when they’ll get around to it!

I worry about you.

Is ICD-10 a pain? Is it a necessary evil? Is it a boon? Do you like it? Do you dread it?

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter. Because, thanks to Congressional legislation that took the very last obstacle out of the way, ICD-10 implementation is coming, no matter what you or I or the guy down the street thinks. And it’s coming on October 1, which, trust me, is going to come so much faster than you could possibly conceive.

If you’re not ready on time, you’d better hope you have a big wad of cash stashed somewhere in an account to tide you over when your claims can’t go through. But while ICD-10’s potential direct impact on chiropractic financial health concerns me, what’s really got my attention is what ICD-10 means in terms of Medicare and private insurer scrutiny.

It should get your attention, too.

The chiropractic profession came closer than is comfortable to getting dropped from Medicare participation altogether, and it’s because we have an incredibly poor track record when it comes to properly documenting care. Does anybody think that’s going to become less of a concern with a whole new coding set with which to work?

No. The microscope we’re under just got bigger, and the claims adjusters and auditors wielding it are far more interested in us. Every mistake we make is a chance for someone, somewhere, to make money off of us. And oh, boy, does a new coding language set us up for some really spectacular mistakes.

No. Just, no. It’s not awesome. In fact, it’s downright frightening. Pretty much every doc who does something like this does so with an almost lethal combination of innocence, good intentions, and ignorance. But every one of the above examples is illegal; family discount without a policy in place; dual fee schedule; and inducement, respectively. And you know what? It’s easier than ever to get caught.

It’s more important than ever before that your documentation be impeccable and that you are in complete compliance with both HIPAA and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). That means not only coding and documenting correctly, but also avoiding high-risk illegalities such as giving a longtime patient a big discount (dual fee schedule), or offering a Groupon (inducement), or having your CA call that guy down the street and picking your fee based on what he’s charging (price-fixing).

Stay safe and have the peace of mind you want with ChiroHealthUSA. ChiroHealthUSA is a Network that works in conjunction with a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO). When you’re a ChiroHealthUSA provider, you will never have to worry about thoughtlessly or accidentally running afoul of compliance regulations, because you’ll be able to offer your patients safe, legal discounts on maintenance and preventive care based on your practice’s single actual fee schedule. There is no cost to you to join with an affordable $49 fee per patient family per year which is easily recovered in the first patient visit.

Oh, and ICD-10? We can help you with that, too.

We offer a free on-demand webinar that explains the benefits of becoming a ChiroHealthUSA provider as well as how to easily offer membership to patients. Register here.