Many healthcare professionals are bemoaning the the delay of the implementation of the ICD-10 codes, claiming the delayed transition a kind of “torture.” On the other hand, allied healthcare professionals and physicians are rejoicing the incidence—seeing it as an opportunity for them to get accustomed to the code before it hits and slow down their operations for a while.
In any case, the rumors were true: ICD-10 will surely affect every aspect of medical practice, from individual patient histories and compensation. And this transition will surely bring some kind of chaos for a while with over 171,000 codes for ICD-10 (ICD-9 only have 17,849 codes).
The ICD-10, which will be implemented in October 2014, would require both physicians and allied healthcare professionals to get the necessary training to be able to fully integrate the ICD-10 codes into their daily practice. But this training will not go to waste, most definitely, as ICD-10 aims to improve on existing loopholes that are brought on by ICD-9.
Found below are the list of the many great benefits that healthcare professionals would soon appreciate of the ICD-10 codes:
1. Improved disease identification and patient care delivery. ICD-10 codes are more specific in describing the illnesses and severity of the patient’s condition, that it can ease the facility of the healthcare service provider to deliver necessary services, goods and protocols. And with these data on the record, more medical research and studies would be easier developed, which in the future would help improve disease prevention and healthcare services administration.
2. Faster and easier auditing. Simply put, the ICD-10 will reduce any problem that may arise from data misinterpretation and misrepresentation since it improves on the whole coding process itself. The records will provide healthcare providers and third-party insurance providers, billers, auditors, claims adjusters, etc. a clear and unquestionable record about the patient’s treatment, credit, payment and reimbursement.
3. Establish your credibility. Your usage of ICD-10 codes will reflect your openness to adopting to industry updates and will inform national registries of the quality of service that you and your medical practice delivers.
4. Promote healthcare system reforms. The new ICD-10 will help promote the implementation of electronic health record systems across the United States and promote the use and development of patient care programs offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
ICD-10 may be considered “a pain” for want of a better term. But it may be the best thing that ever happened to healthcare documentation and health care information management in the United States. In order to make most of ICD-10’s benefits, it is crucial for stakeholders to do the best they can to get the necessary training to work with ICD-10 with relative ease.