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Regulatory Compliance

Is it Time to Embrace ICD-10?

A recent post by ICD-10 Watch sums up the ICD-10 struggle well: “ICD-10 coding is a tough sell” and “great healthcare is in the data”. Weinberger points out that providers are stretched to their limits with the many other healthcare reforms and feel like the benefits of adopting ICD-10 simply aren’t there. However, the ICD-10 code set is a robust, up-to-date set of codes that enable providers to better document care and causes of injuries.

Providers aren’t digging their heels in because they want to provide less data or somehow benefit from continuing to operate with ICD-9 codes. Instead, it is the classic case of “burn out”- Burn out caused by too many changes at once. The question then becomes – how can the negative connotation and stress associated with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 change? The answer is simple: bottom-line benefits for those who comply.

Considering the fact that the new code set improves clinical documentation, so providers will be able to better capture what they have done and be appropriately compensated for their work. Additionally, the new code set will provide a way to bill more accurately, which is expected to decrease rejected claims because it will mitigate the need for providers to submit additional information. In doing so it will lower operating expenses and increase the rate of reimbursement – a bonus to any business.

Aside from benefiting the organization, the conversion will benefit society. Programs such as pay-for-performance and care management programs, as well as many other quality improvement programs, are heavily dependent upon the country converting over to the ICD-10 code set. Providers must move embrace the change for society – after all they did take a “Do No Harm Oath”.

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Amanda Buie

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