What We’re Reading – Feeling Better About ICD-10

With all of the negative talk going around about the ICD-10 conversion, the author of this article puts forth reasons why ICD-10 will prove to be a good thing…eventually.

  • Updates technology and specificity.  ICD-9 was developed in 1979 and is now more than 30 years old.
  • Improves public health tracking.  ICD-10 makes it easier for public health officials to track diseases and threats, dangerous settings, and even acts of bio-terrorism.
  • Discourages up-coding and fraud.  More specificity will make it harder for providers to lump patients into a more severe disease or procedural category.
  • Specifies reasons for patient noncompliance.  The current system offers one classification for patients who fail to follow a recommended regimen, while the ICD-10 offers at least eight.
  • Detailed data on injuries and accidents.  ICD-10 offers information about injuries such as where they occur, what part of the body was injured, and what implements were used.
  • Tracking of healthcare-associated conditions.  ICD-10 allows much greater explanation and accountability for adverse events that occur within healthcare institutions.
  • Specifies procedures by degree of difficulty.  ICD-10 allows certain procedures to be subdivided by difficulty.
  • Precision in reporting complications from medical devices.  ICD-10 allows providers to be much more precise in describing the nature of the malfunction.
  • Creates jobs.  Conversion to ICD-10 will create jobs for coders and trainers.
  • Aligns with EHR.  The conversion to ICD-10 will ensure that electronic medical records, value-based purchasing metrics, and meaningful use incentive programs speak the same language.
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