Be Ready to Face the Challenges of ICD-10 Implementation

by | Published on Nov 26, 2012 | Medical Coding

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ICD-10 is the abbreviation for the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ICD-10-CM (Clinical Modification) will be used to report diagnoses in all clinical settings, whereas ICD-10-PCS (Procedure Coding System) will be used to report hospital inpatient procedures. The ICD-10 code set is designed to offer more flexibility for expansion and for including new technologies and diagnosis.

ICD-10 will take effect on October 1, 2014, and all healthcare providers are required to comply with the new regulations. ICD-10 will offer many benefits, but it is pointed out that the implementation costs could be quite high – even up to $30,000 per provider. Implementation would also be time-consuming, say experts.

Problems physicians are likely to face due to ICD-10 conversion:

Double entry coding process: If your facility uses both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes, you and your staff will need to be aware of both. Double entry coding processes are difficult to manage.

Training is required: ICD-10 features several thousands of volumes of codes. Compared to ICD-9 which has 17,000 codes, ICD -10 has 140,694 codes. Code format have also changed. Your Certified Professional Coders (CPCs) will have to take repeat exams for ICD-10, which could prove very expensive.

Lower incomes and delay in payment: Though the U.S. has reimbursements to ICD-10, time spent on familiarization with the new system can reduce the number of patients the provider sees, leading to fewer claims and fall in revenues. Payment delays will worsen the situation.

Hassles of revised billing: Every bill and billing slip will need revising.  Under ICD-10, a billing slip could run into several pages, posing comprehension challenges for healthcare providers and their staff.

System up gradation: You need to upgrade your IT equipment and systems.   Hardware and software upgrades can prove expensive for smaller practices.

Given all these hassles, the ideal option would be to outsource the handling of ICD-10 implementation to an experienced medical billing company. With a team of expert certified professional coders up-to-date on the latest codes, they can assure that your conversion process works smoothly.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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