Practitioners, even those that are unsure of the benefits of ICD-10, should start to think of the ways new codes will change processes and prepare for the improvements that come with proper testing and compliance.
It's possible (and much-hoped) that the added information from ICD-10 codes will lead to an increase in general efficiency and allow care providers to respond to requests faster. That's what Pam Jodock of Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) said when she recently spoke to RevCycleIntelligence.com.
In this article, Jodock outlined some of the most tangible improvements that will result from ICD-10 adoption. These could include several different added operational benefits, including more useful claims payment procedures and more accurate reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid.
"There should be fewer claims pended for requests for medical records because the ICD-10 code will provide the information not included in ICD-9 codes today," she said. "Hopefully over the course of time, we'll see a streamlining of claims payment and providers will see a reduction in the number of claims that get pended or rejected at first pass." She also said that ICD-10 will be continually tweaked after the October 1 deadline.
This year, the government has been taking more pains to make ICD-10 tools available to providers. The official Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, last updated earlier this month, now features a clock counting down until the deadline date, as well as short videos designed to provide details about ICD-10's uses and functions. The new codes are more specific, so ultimately they are meant to reduce errors and misconceptions for healthcare professionals.
For more involved assistance, healthcare coding and consulting services help entities adjust to meet the demands of healthcare policies and make ICD-10 seem more usable.