Thursday, October 16, 2014

Get a Move On ICD10 Implementation

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems has come out with its 10th revision and all hospitals will be required to stop using ICD 9 and start using ICD 10 by later this year or the hospital claims will not be paid. Not all healthcare employees know or understand what ICD 10 is because it is only used by certain staff. For those staff who will be affected, it will be a major change that should not be rushed and plenty of testing and training should happen before October or this will have negative connotations on cash flow and payments to providers and hospitals.For each patient that is seen by a provider, their visit must be assigned a code which will tell payors (like insurance companies or Medicare or Medicaid) what the patient was seen for and will tell them how much to reimburse the provider for those services. It codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases. ICD 9 diagnosis coding was 3 to 5 digits, while ICD 10 is 3 to 7 digits for diagnosis coding. ICD 9 inpatient hospital coding was 3 or 4 numeric digits while ICD 10 is 7 alphanumeric digits. This a major change which will affect coders, providers and other clinical staff, IT staff, finance staff, payers, clearinghouses, and billing services. Each of these staff members needs specific training and awareness of how ICD 10 will affect their jobs.

Other countries have implemented ICD 10 and have lots of experience with this type of coding. Some countries have their own modified version of ICD 10 while most countries are using it without modification.Currently organizations are putting off the training and implementation to meet the deadline. This is going to be such a huge affect on your providers, you need to start preparing now and getting the training customized for your physicians. The best training will be customized to the specialty of the providers and clinical staff since they don't need to know every code available like a coder or someone in medical records needs to know. The top two concerns of providers in regards to ICD 10 is what changes it will make in their documentation routine (how will they need to change their documentation to meet the new standards) and loss of productivity. If you have worked with providers for any amount of time, you will know if they feel like they dropped in productivity or affected their patients negatively, you will have other issues you will have to deal with in order to maintain satisfaction scores.

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