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By: Stephen O'Connor

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September 10th, 2014

3 Ways ICD-10 is Reshaping Healthcare

Healthcare Advice

3 Ways ICD-10 is Reshaping HealthcareAs you already must be aware, a big change is coming to the healthcare industry, now that the U.S. government is requiring us to switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

Version 10 of the International Classification of Diseases has already been adopted by many countries around the world, but our government has granted a few extensions so that providers can spend more time preparing for the switch.

If it’s not already on your calendar, be sure to note that the government now requires medical organizations to move to ICD-10 by October 1, 2015.

As you get your team ready for working with the new codes, we offer you details on three ways ICD-10 is reshaping healthcare.

1. New ICD-10 Codes Enable More Precise Descriptions

One of the chief benefits of moving to ICD-10 is that the new codes are more detailed and precise. It’s worth pointing out that ICD-9 had only 4,000 procedure codes and 13,500 diagnostic codes, compared with 87,000 procedure codes and 68,000 diagnostic codes in ICD-10. This will help us be more focused in the care we deliver, as well as how we describe ailments and the procedures used to treat them.

While ICD-10 does represent more material for your staff to learn and absorb, it’s for a good cause. Making sure your team is ready will definitely help your patients as well as your bottom line. You can get a jump on learning ICD-10 and help your staff get more accustomed to using it by taking advantage of the Medics ICD-10 Coding Converter.

2. More Data Will Help Researchers

Doctors working alone in their individual offices and group practices may sometimes detect patterns and trends in diseases. For example, a doctor or other staffer will notice that something is unusual when multiple patients come in complaining about gastrointestinal problems, leading the physician to eventually determine that many of them ate at the same restaurant around roughly the same time.

Identifying the source of food poisoning is one thing. Spotting major epidemiology trends is quite another. Fortunately, researchers and scientists will be gathering a treasure trove of medical data accumulated from ICD-10 code details. This knowledge will help them do their research and experiments, as well as see patterns such as an increase in flu cases and other serious illnesses much faster than they could previously.

The new discoveries and methods of treatment that ICD-10 provides will dramatically reshape healthcare as we know it today.

3. Reimbursement will Be Improved

Getting timely payments the majority of the time is essential for keeping the lights on in your medical practice. As we make the switchover from ICD-9 to ICD-10, you should expect to see improvements in how you are reimbursed for the services your staff provides to patients.

With more detailed and accurate codes, we can envision an era of fewer rejected claims as well as requests to resubmit claims because an entity reimbursed them improperly. When overseers run into fewer instances of claims that lack proper details or coding, the entire system will work much more efficiently.

Lower administration costs because of fewer errors means that healthcare providers can focus more of their resources on patient care than on bureaucratic paperwork.

Change is often difficult for large organizations that are accustomed to doing things a particular way, especially when the staff has to invest significant time to learn important procedures. However, the switch to ICD-10 from ICD-9 will eventually prove to be financially beneficial to your organization, as well as bring some positive developments in our healthcare system.

Key Takeaway

  • Mark your calendar to remember the shift from version 9 of the International Classification of Diseases to ICD-10.
  • ICD-10 will reshape healthcare by helping us provide better data to researchers and scientists.
  • Medical organizations can expect to get reimbursed faster because ICD-10 will allow for fewer rejected claims.

ICD-10-Code-Converter

About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.

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