Time to Get Ready for the ICD-10 Coding System

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Implementing a more precise system of documentation for patient care has clear clinical and financial benefits. The use of ICD-10 codes will result in more accurate data on patient conditions and treatments, giving providers better insight into treatment outcomes. ICD-10 codes will also allow for more accurate billing, helping ensure appropriate reimbursement for services provided. With the ICD-10 deadline fast approaching, providers should familiarize themselves with what they need to do to prepare.

ICD-10-CM: Coding for Physicians in the New World
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urges all practices to ensure ample time for staff training and system testing for the transition to ICD-10. Problems detected after the 2014 full implementation could cause cash flow problems. Disruption in payment would be particularly difficult for small practices because they often operate on thin margins.

But a recent survey of 2,600 providers finds that many remain seriously behind in ICD-10 preparations. Where should you be in the planning stage this April? Check the CMS.gov graph to find out!

The purpose of ICD-10-CM is to ensure precision, accuracy and detail in the clinical documentation required for billing. For example, a 25 year-old female presents to the clinic after having pain in her right ear. She is part of the Dolphin swim team and has been practicing hard for the upcoming championships. The physician examines the patient and determines that the patient has swimmer’s ear. The diagnosis code in ICD-10-CM would be: H60.331Swimmer’s ear, right ear. This type of new coding allows for clear, concise documentation of the diagnosis.

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