EHR and practice management for mental / behavioral health
PIMSY behavioral health electronic records software may icd-10 action item

May ICD-10 Action Items

by Leigh-Ann Renz, 5.14.15

Meeting ICD-10 Compliance for Mental / Behavioral Health, Psychiatry and Substance Usage

May Item #1: Make Sure Staff Understands

With all of the compliance mandates that your practice has to meet, it might be easy for your employees to not take ICD-10 seriously. They might think of it as something that mental health is exempt from; they may not understand the huge impact it’s projected to have; or they may just not have the bandwidth to pay attention to it right now as they attend to daily tasks.

That’s where you can help: if you’re the agency owner or office manager, you can prioritize ICD-10 preparation and pull your staff away from other duties. If you’re not the practice director or manager, make sure that management understands how much ICD-10 is projected to backlog claims, and enlist their help in planning and implementing agency-wide ICD-10 preparation, including detailed training for each department.

Once management gives employees the directive to take ICD-10 seriously – and makes training mandatory – your staff should have an easier time giving it their necessary focus. Make sure your team 1) understands its seriousness and 2) is assigned concrete training and preparation tasks, broken down by role (biller, provider, front desk, etc).

May Item #2: Empower Providers to Begin Mental Health Dual Coding

While we tend to think of coding as the biller’s domain, diagnosis codes such as ICD-10 are assigned by the provider during the session. Mental health practitioners don’t rely on as many diagnostic tests as non-mental health providers and so must diagnose based on the subtleties of the clinical session, putting more burden on them. Unfortunately, many providers aren’t even aware of ICD-10 or that they will need to drive this mandatory compliance transition.

On the system side, we’ve heard over & over “ICD-10 doesn’t apply to me because I use DSM-5”. After you’ve established your ICD-10 plan and secured some good training materials for your staff, sit down with each of your providers, make sure they understand that the bulk of ICD-10 compliance rests with them and that full participation is absolutely necessary. Provide them with the training resources specific to their role, and assign them a timeline to begin practicing dual coding.

Before you begin testing ICD-10 invoicing with your payers, you’ll want your providers to feel confident choosing the correct ICD-10 code for all current clinical sessions (ie, dual coding). It’s not just a matter of plugging their familiar “DSM-5” code into a crosswalk and popping up a corresponding ICD-10 code: many of the diagnosing practices themselves are changing. Click here for a sample resource that explains these variances.

Road Map and Training Resources

While the DSM-5 and the ICD-10 manual from the World Health Organization (WHO) provides the actual codes and methodology, it’s up to you to secure training for your staff: translating this material into action items your employees can complete. While it’s not mandatory, having a customized ICD-10 road map for your unique agency can greatly increase your likelihood of success during this massive transition.

There are many resources online for both training and planning, including ICD-10 consultants: it may be a worthwhile investment to hire someone to review your practice and help you brainstorm a plan for success. Two consultants who have helped us are:

Dr. Jason King:,

Lisette Wright:, 651.690.0964

See our ICD-10 Resource Center for more information.

Previous Action Items

April: Schedule Testing & Update Your Practice
March: Update Your Contracts & Start Saving

To see how PIMSY EHR can help you meet ICD-10 compliance, click below – or contact us: 877.334.8512, ext 1 –


(Disclaimer: Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each practice to ensure coding compliance. PIMSY EMR/SMIS has gathered information from various resources believed to be authorities in their field. However, neither PIMSY EMR/SMIS – nor its employees – nor the authors – warrant that the information is in every respect accurate and/or complete. PIMSY EMR/SMIS assumes no responsibility for use of the information provided. Neither PIMSY EMR/SMIS – nor its employees – nor the authors – shall be responsible for, and expressly disclaim liability for, damages of any kind arising out of the use of, reference to, or reliance on, the content of these educational materials. These materials are for informational purposes only. PIMSY EMR/SMIS does not provide medical, legal, financial or other professional advice and readers are encouraged to consult a professional advisor for such advice.)

click here for pdf
Leigh- Ann Renz


Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY EHR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Mental Health Practice Management Software. 

Kudos from Clients

Seth H.

“PIMSY more than pays for itself by streamlining my office, improving efficiency and reducing billing times. I would recommend PIMSY to anyone looking for a good EMR company that will help you implement its program and help you with any questions you have along the way.”

~ Seth H., Business Owner

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to the PIMSY newsletter
What topics are you most interested in?