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Weekly Byte: “Click the Button”
The deadline is not going to change again, and I've been talking with a lot of customers lately about ICD-10. pMD has customers that have been using a single, unified ICD-9 + ICD-10 code list for almost two years now, but I'm hearing a lot of anxiety from those who haven't “clicked the button” yet and updated their codes.

The bottom line is that people are scared, and scared people sometimes ask for things that don't make sense. I've had to remind one or two practice managers that there is no way their cardiologist is going to see a patient for W55.32XA or R14.3, so there is no benefit in cluttering their diagnosis list with those codes. Nor, realistically, will their cardiologists wade through the 801 results that SNOMED CT® lists for "Diabetes" - nor should they. Diabetes is never going to be a primary diagnosis for a cardiologist. 801 results times 20 patients per day is... enough to push a doctor into early retirement.

Anxiety aside, some very pragmatic questions come up over and over again:

* Compliance officers want to know if the system will help guide their providers to a more specific code when needed. (Yes)

* Providers want to know if they will have to learn brand new names for the same clinical diagnoses that they've been seeing patients for since residency. (No)

* Billing managers want to know if their staff can start seeing ICD-10 codes from the doctors before October 1st so that they can submit test claims and give the providers a grace period to get used to the new codes. (Yes)

I keep finding additional ways that pMD can help make the transition smoother for those who haven't converted yet, and also to make the answers to these common questions more obvious. Our approach has always been to have the software itself do the heavy lifting on helping our customers understand what they need to do - which boils down to "push the button" at this point! - and what will happen when they do.

It's a race to the finish line, and times are busy, but it feels good to be on the front lines helping our customers get there.