Copyright ©-2011 M.D.C.P. All Rights Reserved.
Page 1 of 2
The new coding system expected to bring huge changes: Learning how totransit form ICD-9 to ICD-10!
Medical Coders prepare for this change…s
Learning New Codes and getting specific:
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS), the transition to ICD-10 is occurring because ICD-9 produces very limited data about patients’medical conditions and hospital inpatient procedures. Medical coders need to be prepared with these newcodes as:
TheICD-10 transition includes seven-character codes from the three to five-digit ICD-9 codes to
be able to capture the full nature of disease
The 17,000 different codes currently used in ICD-9 will grow to more than 140,000 when ICD-10 isfully implemented
The new codes will require more specificity in coding and documentation- for example one codecurrently used for acute otitis externa, becomes 28 potential codes
Moreover, the U.S. is the only country using the ICD-10 system for billing purposes as most of theother nations use it mainly for epidemiological reasons. Canada is among those countries thatuse it only in hospitals.Charting and Documentation for ICD-10 is a huge concern with laterality being introduced hence Medicalcoders and physicians in this case can assess the new codes and the current existing charts to see if theircurrent documentation supports the more in-depth requirements of ICD-10 and start preparing for thischange.
Besides the Medical coding & billing staff but also the physicians need to be trained andeducated. However care needs to be taken that training begins not more than six to nine months beforethe new codes are used as they will likely be forgotten by the time they are needed.
Implementation is likely to be very costly and a big financial concern amongst practices and a typical smallpractice of three physicians can expect costs of more than $83,000 by the time the changeover iscomplete, while a practice of 10 providers may spend as much as $285,000 to fully implement ICD-10.Besides these costs computers, software and staff training is a major financial concern during the transitionto ICD-10. Payments flow is also a major concern post implementation as payments are not entirely in thepractice’s control. Moreover every part of the practice will have to be assessed in tandem with ICD-10along with assessment of vendors.Practices need to start gathering enough information on ICD-10 and Billers and Coders proficient in ICD-10transition are the need of the hour and highly demanded. Physicians amidst the transforming healthcareenvironment as a feasible option are opting for services of medical billers and coders who are proactiveand prepared with material-requisites for ICD-10. Personnel updated atMedicialbillersandcoders.comareviable option for physicians in smooth transition to ICD-10; equipped with experience in HIPAA, ICD-10 andother compliances.