What We’re Reading – Four things doctors actually like about ICD-10

As you may already know, the largest complaint about the ICD-10 is that it is “complex and highly specific” with almost three times the number of codes than ICD-9.  Although the 10th edition was introduced in 1992 and most developed countries use a modified version of it, U.S. hospital administrators and physicians have opposed adopting the 10th revision because of the conversion challenges it presents.  In addition, because there is an ICD-11 revision in the works (if you can even imagine that!), some industry experts have recommended a delay in order to migrate directly to the 11th revision.

Nevertheless, adopting the ICD-10 is inevitable, as the system will be imposed on October 1, 2014, so let’s look on the bright side.  This article’s author explains some of the benefits of adopting the ICD-10, such as:

  1. Specific coding
    • Integrates the reason for a diagnosis, which should result in fewer denials by insurance payers.
  2. Ease in locating a possible diagnosis
    • ICD-10 makes it easier to research unusual diagnoses, which translates into less time spent researching and more time for other tasks.
  3. Improved description of the extent of diagnoses
    • The 10th revision will result in better communication to payers of a patient’s morbidity by the ability to refine and report the complexity of encounter.  This can lead to additional rewards from payers for effectively managing patients.
  4. Ease in assigning codes
    • Coding specificity and reduced ambiguity of codes equals fewer coding errors and fewer unpaid claims.
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