What is ICD-10 and how will it Impact you?

February 28th, 2014

For those in the medical field, ICD-10 is something that has been part of your vocabulary for a while and most health care professionals wonder how the newest procedures, set to be adopted in October 2014, will affect them. If you are wondering about the impact, you are not alone. Since 1983, this medical classification list has provided the ability for those in the industry to track new diagnosis and classify medical issues. It has streamlined the diagnosis process and helped prevent confusion in the international health care field.  This continues to be a driving force in better care throughout all healthcare facilities in the country and within the world. Changes bring the need to learn what is different and to also know how your practice will be affected.

Forward Progress
ICD-10 is the biggest change in standard healthcare coding system in decades and the transition from ICD-9 to 10 will impact every aspect of the healthcare coding system that uses a diagnosis code. There are no exceptions for a grace period and when it switches, it’s done. Over 25 countries are already poised to accept the classifications and this will create a streamlined medical system for every country involved. It will help with the following aspects of medical care:

  • Payments and insurance issues: When the diagnosis, procedures, and classifications are the same, they can be processed faster and more efficiently.
  • Reduce errors. With a simple classification system, everyone will be on the same page instead of trying to read and interpret what others have written down and passed on.
  • Increase precision.  Each diagnosis can be more exact and clear for others to understand.

An example of the forward progress being made is along the lines of how ICD-9 is not “left or right” specific so instead of a code stating, “broken wrist”, the new code will say “left broken wrist.” It is easy to see how this will help the medical community in the future.

How to Prepare
Because the new codes will be more specific, it will take some time for you and your staff to remember and learn what should be included. In the past, you may have classified something differently or just used a generic term but now you will be required to use the right code. It may take time to sort through the options but in the end it will save time due to the lack of errors avoided with the correct coding. The learning curve will be the biggest hurdle of ICD-10 for the majority of facilities and team members but with proper training, it can be minimized.

Pinnacle is poised to work with clients to properly implement ICD-10 and with the latest staff innovations, each team member can have the necessary knowledge to perform at your facility. Have additional questions? Contact us today!

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