September 30, 2015
1 min read

ICD-10: What you should know

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On Thursday, the health care system will transfer to the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision — more commonly known as ICD-10.

It will be the largest change in coding across the national medical field since 1992, and its proposed benefits include better coordination of care and more detailed records. It will also help implement new payment methods.

Here are four things physicians and health care providers need to know ahead of the conversion on Oct. 1:

ICD-10 will mean more detail in clinical documentation

In addition to more detailed information on clinical and surgical conditions, ICD-10 promises better measurements of the overall value of health care services. It will also allow physicians to compare international data with that of different regions of the U.S. Read more

Sources are expecting some cash flow issues

As ICD procedure codes are used in forms submitted to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for reimbursement, the ICD-10 conversion may initially affect cash flows. Health care providers have seen multiple recommendations to collect as much as they can before the ICD-10 transfer, and to keep money in the bank at the end of the third quarter as a precaution. Read more

Transition to ICD-10 will require strict oversight

In the run-up to the conversion, health practices will need to make sure their documents are updated in both paper and electronic formats. In addition, physician and staff — including billing staff — training will be critical. Read more

Full transition will likely take a few years

CMS will not be very strict in the first year of ICD-10 implementation, according to Kevin J. Corcoran, president of the Corcoran Consulting Group, which has so far trained more than 6,100 physicians and staff on the new standard. Health care providers will likely need time to acclimate themselves to the new coding requirements. Corcoran recommends physicians use laterality, etiology, manifestations, comorbidities and greater specificity in their notes. Without these details, there would not be enough information to select an ICD-10 code. Read more