Medical organizations battle conflicts between ICD-9 and 10

Medical organizations that don't upgrade to ICD-10 pose a risk to the general compliance effort throughout the country.

The ICD-10 deadline has led to much widespread rhetoric regarding testing and readiness, but that doesn't mean that ICD-9 holds no relevance for practices anymore. In a piece written for ICD-10 Monitor, two members of WEDI, Sherry Wilson and Tina Greene, reference the way ICD-9 threatens modernization, and how some states plan not to update and to stay on ICD-9 for property and casualty services.

To help work towards more efficient standards overall, Greene and Wilson urge healthcare organizations to embrace the ICD-10 codes and reduce compatibility issues later on. Furthermore, they argue, states need to make testing and compliance mandatory to avoid the existence of competing sets of standards. A medical billing consultant can be contracted to grant practices more guidance in code-based decisions.

"State action is necessary to address ICD-10 requirements; otherwise, hospitals and physician practices will be faced with conflicting requirements to report both ICD-9 and ICD-10 on different types of bills," they write. "Payers will be forced to use one set of codes to satisfy state billing requirements and a different set of codes to meet federal CMS reporting requirements."

Different states can manage their own individual deadlines for converting to ICD-10 in order to give more structure to this important upgrade. On the official CMS website, small practices can read about the most relevant industry guidelines for adoption, look at the original checklists or consult "Road to 10," a special tool for practices to compare the two code sets. This includes a special countdown that lets visitors check to see how many weeks are left until the deadline.

Investigate health coding and consulting services provide the necessary support for practices to make the conversion successfully.

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