ICD-10 Transition: Working With Your Referral Partners on Dual Coding

Don’t wait until the last minute to discuss ICD-10 with your referral partners.

A good ICD-10 communication plan includes direct coordination with referral partners. Contacting your referrals partners now will allow you to start building an ICD-10 networking group for sharing information on payer readiness, vendor options and staff training and the information you mine from your referrals may continue to boost your financial performance even beyond the initial implementation date through stronger ties with referral partners.

In order to jump start your referral partner communications, we are providing the following letter which you can customize to suit your ICD-10 communication plan. Further, an effective ICD-10 communication plan also requires that this type of letter by assigned to an ICD-10 team member to monitor referral responses, respond promptly to referral inquires and make related updates to the implementation plan and procedures.

Dear Referral Partner,

Thank you for your history of referrals to our office. We are constantly seeking to improve our coordination of care practices and we hope that your patients have been well served by our clinical partnership. We would like to keep you informed regarding our ICD-10 implementation efforts that may impact our mutual patients. In order to prepare for the ICD-10 implementation date, we have a number of specific objectives in the coming months which may impact the documentation we share regarding patient care. Please note the following dates and/or requested items:

(Customize the following bullet points to your specific ICD-10 requests related to the referral source)

  • In order to prepare for ICD-10, we request that your patient communications reference both the ICD-9 and ICD-10 code(s) for each patient beginning on (date). This dual coding will allow us to more effectively prepare billing staff and negotiate with payers regarding the upcoming code changes.
  • We are conducting ICD-10 internal or external testing on (dates). We request that your referral documentation reference both ICD-9 and ICD-10 during this testing period so we may utilize the testing period to concurrently review our referral communications for ICD-10 compliance.
  • We have identified the following high volume diagnoses codes which impact our mutual patients. To assist with our ICD-10 education and auditing process, we request that your office review these specific codes and provide any guidance you have developed regarding how these ICD-9 codes will be documented and coded after the ICD-10 implementation dates. Specifically, if your organization is conducting auditing and/or training which identifies which ICD-10 codes will likely be utilized for these high volume ICD-9 codes, please provide us with any information regarding forecasted ICD-10 code usage.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide regarding these items. Again, we are committed to providing your patients with the highest care possible and want to ensure that patient satisfaction remains high during the ICD-10 transitional phase. If you wish to discuss your ICD-10 needs or concerns, please contact our office. We look forward to discussing ICD-10 with you at your convenience.


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