Though Congress recently passed a merciful one-year delay to the impending deadline for ICD-10 compliance, we’re here to tell you that the deferment doesn’t make it any less inevitable. The massive paradigm shift that will be required along with the doubtlessly complex technological upgrades and new training for billing and coding personnel may instill fear in the hearts of healthcare professionals everywhere.
However, it helps to look on the bright side; there are as many or more benefits that will arise from the switchover to ICD-10 as there are headaches. If you’re suffering from an as-yet-unidentified (or coded!) anxiety disorder because you dread the impending implementation of ICD-10, here are seven ways to use the upcoming upgrade as an opportunity, not an obstacle.
1. Improved Insights
Better data means better asset allocation, more informed clinical decisions, and increased financial savings.
2. Proactive Policy Setting
ICD-10 provides richer, more dynamic data resources so that healthcare policymakers can make smarter decisions. Better healthcare regulations mean both patients and providers benefit.
3. Coding Clarity
When coding errors or discrepancies delay payment or lead to rejected claims, providers are left high and dry. An upgraded coding system will help increase coding accuracy and speed up the claims approval and payment processes.
4. Improved EMR Compatibility
As paper medical records go the way of the 8-track, the healthcare industry needs to upgrade across the board. ICD-10 provides more detailed and precise coding as well as opportunities for better compatibility with new EMR software platforms; these factors may reduce costly and time-consuming requests from payers for copies of medical records.
5. Improved Asset Allocation
Clearer, more detailed codes mean better asset allocation – both from a human resources and physical assets perspective.
6. International Exchange
Once the US healthcare system makes the switch to ICD-10, it can better participate in the global exchange of healthcare ideas and research information. International collaboration leads to innovation and improved outcomes for research trials.
7. Public Health Profits
ICD-10 will allow for more clarity in public health research and reporting. Better information leads to more effective management of infectious disease outbreaks and clearer healthcare communication during crises.
From Obstacle to Opportunity
It’s clear that the new economy requires healthcare organizations and professionals to stay on the crest of the technological and regulatory waves. Smart organizations see innovations like ICD-10 as another opportunity to reconsider old approaches and upgrade to more efficient, electronic business models.
When quality care is a priority, the most accurate information delivered in the timeliest manner is absolutely vital. For this reason, developments like ICD-10 should be thought of as exciting opportunities rather than exasperating obstacles. This simple paradigm shift will help make the necessary technological shift to a new system a more manageable movement.