5 Steps to a Smooth and Successful Transition to ICD-10

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2014, the U.S. government is mandating the shift from the existing ICD-9 code system to ICD-10-CM (diagnoses) and ICD-10-PCS (procedures) — a coding standard already in use in many other developed countries around the world. The change will expand the number of codes by almost eightfold, from about 20,000 to more than 155,000. The differential between the number of ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes will mean that, in many instances, no “crosswalks” will exist for a one-to one code match.

ICD-10-CM: Going Beyond the Documentation
Whether healthcare providers are prepared or not, there’s no denying the reasoning behind the change from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. More than 30 years old, ICD-9-CM has outdated terms, limited data and no longer aligns with how practices perform. In many respects, ICD-10-CM is comparable to ICD-9-CM. The guidelines, conventions, and rules are similar, as is the code organization. But there are differences – big differences – that can have an immediate impact on your practice.

One of the biggest differences is the level of specificity that can be achieved. A major concern with ICD-9-CM has been the lack of detail conveyed in the codes. Until our healthcare world becomes a single database that can be accessed by all, consistent and detailed medical records are critical.

For example, if a patient is seen for treatment of a burn on the right arm, the ICD-9-CM diagnosis code does not distinguish that the burn is on the right arm. If the patient is seen a few weeks later for another burn on the left arm, the same ICD-9-CM diagnosis code would be reported. Additional documentation would likely be required for a treatment claim to explain that the burn treated this time was different from the one treated previously. With the ICD-10-CM diagnosis code set, characters in the code identify right versus left, initial encounter versus subsequent encounter, and other granular, clinical information.

As proponents of better health, we can all agree that detailed medical records are better. But what else is there to consider when preparing to implement ICD-10-CM? Here are five things a healthcare provider must consider now in order to have a smooth and successful transition to ICD-10-CM.

  1. Mapping: not all codes from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM 10 are a one-to-one match
  2. Vendors: assessing your current software vendor’s readiness to meet ICD-10-CM deadlines
  3. Cost: cost associated with the ICD-10-CM transition will affect almost every department
  4. Partners: find a comprehensive approach to the ICD-10-CM transition that includes education
  5. Testing: prevent and reduce cash flow disruptions during the transition to ICD-10-CM

The new deadline of Oct. 1, 2014 is quickly approaching. Healthcare providers will need to stay on track in order to make the transition successful. To read the complete e-Guide on successfully transitioning to ICD-10-CM please visit:BetterRevCycle.com

Article Resource: “ICD-10-CM: Going Beyond the Documentation”located on the McKesson ReveNEWS website.

Source: mckessonpracticesolutions.com

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