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:
- Specific coding
- Integrates the reason for a diagnosis, which should result in fewer denials by insurance payers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ease in assigning codes
- Coding specificity and reduced ambiguity of codes equals fewer coding errors and fewer unpaid claims.