ICD-10: Is the Risk Worth the Reward?

ICD-10: Is the Risk Worth the Reward?

The Oct. 1 compliance date for ICD-10 has come and gone, but increased scrutiny is being placed on the transition with providers still questioning whether the benefits of the switch will outweigh the costs.

Why Update?

ICD-10 was originally implemented with the goal of increased coding specificity and billing standardization.

ICD-9 coding dates back to 1979; long enough to make medical professionals believe that the system no longer reflects the needs of an advancing medical community. The switch to ICD-10 will supposedly allow physicians to apply newer and more precise billing codes that are less burdensome to healthcare professionals.

Community Impact

Despite the supposed benefits of the transition, the backlash against ICD-10 is growing. Several industry experts have complained about the viability of the new coding system. John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, noted:

“A few years from now [people] will discover that the whole idea of ICD-10 wasn’t helpful to anyone … ICD-10 was never designed to be a billing vocabulary, it’s an epidemiological vocabulary. It’s the wrong tool for the wrong purpose.”CMS-ICD-10

Harsh Dhundia, director at consulting firm Pace Harmon, echoed these sentiments by describing how the increased number of codes would lead to worsened productivity and lost revenue:

“If a doctor sees a patient … and if there isn’t enough supporting documentation, you’re going to be forced into a lower value code, so you get compensated lower.”

Losing potential revenue is a common concern for ICD-10 critics. Robert Tennant of the Medical Group Management Association commented on how the switch would create more costs for independent clinics:

“The government is not defraying any of the cost; all the costs are being borne by physician practices … you’ve got a lot of skepticism regarding the value of moving to this code set,” he said.

An incoming Transition

While new coding procedures help clinics become more efficient, many practices are vocally opposing the transition. The switch to more coding may help standardize billing across the medical field, but the growing number of detractors indicates a disconnect between the priorities of governmental organizations and private healthcare practices.

The much-touted benefits of the transition may not be addressing actual needs faced by healthcare practitioners. But time will tell the full impact of more diverse coding on the medical industry.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLCWritten by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

iBridge NewsletterWhat Healthcare Execs Need to Know About ICD-9 to ICD-10 iBridge LLC

CMS Easing the ICD-10 Transition

CMS Easing the ICD-10 Transition

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) aren’t taking the ICD-10 transition lying down.

Providers are voicing new concerns regarding claims acceptance. While EHR interoperability and billing procedures were once the primary transition concerns, providers are now questioning how their revenue will be affected by rejected ICD-10 claims. The mounting tension has caused a public backlash against the ICD-10 transition, culminating in a series of public letters to Congress requesting a delay for the deadline.

CMS responded to these concerns by implementing a new ICD-10 service initiative that pledged to help prepare physicians and healthcare providers for the switch.

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CMS Support

The services offered by CMS are fourfold:

  • Instituting a Communication Center: With the massive number of changes that accompany ICD-10, CMS announced that they would set up a collaboration center to address any transition issues that may arise.
  • Allowing a Grace Period: Physician claims processed within 12 months of the ICD-10 transition won’t be denied by CMS, provided that the submission is from the right code family. This buffer will give providers time to adjust to new code usage with less worry of rejected claims.
  • Quality Reporting Flexibility: CMS will protect physicians from quality reporting penalties based on code specificity, as long as the diagnosis used was from the correct code family.
  • Advance Payment: If Part B Medicare Contractors cannot process physician claims in a timely manner, a conditional payment may be made to the provider until the claim has been processed in full.

Bridging the Gap

These services promise new opportunities for coding flexibility and physician freedom during the rocky transition period. Grace periods on submitted codes give healthcare providers time to adjust to their new coding systems without rejected claims or severe penalties. Many of the concerns expressed by providers involved the ways ICD-10 would interrupt their cash flow and day-to-day operations; CMS has tried to publicly address these pain points and facilitate a smoother transition for all involved.

The efforts of CMS to ease the ICD-10 transition come as a welcome change to the obstinate attitudes expressed by other physicians. In an industry where communication, transparency, and collaboration are necessary for success, any initiative that facilitates an easier transition can only be a positive.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLC

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

iBridge NewsletterWhat Healthcare Execs Need to Know About ICD-9 to ICD-10 iBridge LLC

ICD-10 and an Assessment of Physician Readiness

ICD-10 and an Assessment of Physician Readiness

The ICD-10 deadline is right around the corner—and a new poll by the physician-based social network SERMO indicates that doctors aren’t prepared.

Physician Surveys

According to surveys conducted by SERMO and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the Oct. 1st deadline for the new medical coding system is arriving faster than doctors can handle. The SERMO survey indicated that 71 percent of physicians polled aren’t equipped to handle the transition, while the WEDI poll showed that nearly half of physicians surveyed were unsure of whether they would be prepared in time.

Sermo

Source: greenbook.com

Conversely, hospital staff surveyed by WEDI reported a 90 percent adherence rate for ICD-10. Such a large gap between hospital and physician readiness indicates disconnected priorities between varieties of healthcare providers.

“I am ignoring the entire thing,” an anonymous psychiatrist on the SERMO social network said. “I do not bill or correspond with third-party payers, and that removes the administrative pressure. […] My time is better spent seeing patients.”

These sentiments were echoed by other doctors on the site, indicating that physicians placed less importance on medical regulation adherence than on providing patient care. While quality care is important, misalignment of goals between physicians and the hospitals creates administrative challenges for systems designed on uniform procedures.

Disconnected Priorities

ICD-10 will change the way medical codes are uses, reported and submitted to insurance providers. Failure to meet these standards could create inconsistencies between medical claims submitted between different offices, or during transfer of patient records from one clinic to another. Physicians are a critical part of making sure the transition happens smoothly—creating problems when doctor interests are misaligned with those of their clinics.

“We are hopeful that industry leaders take the necessary steps to help ensure that the transition to ICD-10 is completed with minimal disruption to the healthcare industry,” said Jean Narcisi, chair of WEDI.

The goal of streamlined reporting is necessary for the medical field, but the healthcare industry isn’t yet close to meeting this goal.

“Based on this poll, the majority of the physician community is not ready for ICD-10,” said SERMO spokesperson Randi Kahn.

With physicians having the final say in many healthcare related decisions, this reluctance to comply with ICD-10 standards is a sign that the healthcare industry’s move toward the future will be slower than policy-makers hoped.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLC

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

iBridge NewsletterWhat Healthcare Execs Need to Know About ICD-9 to ICD-10 iBridge LLC

Taking Steps Toward ICD-10 Compliance

Taking Steps Toward ICD-10 Compliance

Despite the specificity that ICD-10 promises to provide, political pundits and medical professionals claim that the ICD-10 transition will create a coding structure overly complex and unnecessary. Many clinicians have yet to fully commit themselves to the structural and policy changes that come with ICD-10.

While debates on pushing back the deadline are still alive across the political spectrum, more medical organizations are biting the bullet and instituting cooperation-based programs designed to get physicians ready for the transition.

Perceived Upgrading Costs

Given the large infrastructure and software modifications that accompany transitions like ICD-10, it’s natural that hospitals and other healthcare clinics would resist the change. When focusing on the bottom line, the last thing clinics want to worry about is adapting coding practices to reflect minuscule changes in classifications that don’t affect day-to-day operations.

Taking Steps Toward ICD-10 Compliance

Organizations struggling to keep up with the changing procedures of the medical industry will always decry compliance dates as being too early to be realistic, but procrastinating on updating their policies won’t change the equation.

Collaboration

With how fast the deadline is approaching, not all medical associations see value in fighting the change. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the AMA recently announced a joint effort to get physicians ready for the transition. This will happen with the help of education through webinars, articles, on-site training and a system of provider calls that will help physicians and health care providers prepare to update their codes and change their infrastructure.

This collaboration comes at a critical time, as attempts so far to delay the October 1st deadline have been unsuccessful. CMS has acknowledged the importance of meeting the new regulations and will offer several initiatives designed to move easier:

  • The appointment of a ICD-10 public advocate to handle provider issues
  • Medicare will not deny claims based on a lack of ICD-10 specificity, provided that the physician uses a valid code
  • Meaningful Use and other quality assurance programs will not assess penalties for lack of specificity

CMS initiatives on their own won’t be enough to ease the transition for all providers, but they indicate an improvement in cooperation and communication between departments. Policy changes on a national scale require cooperation from organizations, and getting associations like the AMA and CMS on the same page is a necessary first step.

Dean Van Dyke iBridge LLC
Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

iBridge NewsletterWhat Healthcare Execs Need to Know About ICD-9 to ICD-10 iBridge LLC

Has the ICD-10 Delay Caused a Loss in Momentum?

Has the ICD-10 Delay Caused a Loss in Momentum?

The deadline extension for the ICD-10 conversion was originally intended to give healthcare providers, payers and vendors the chance to improve readiness before the switchover date. Instead, the delay in implementation seems to have had the opposite effect of promoting procrastination; momentum has apparently slowed down instead of picking up speed.

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) conducted a survey in August 2014 to better gauge the progress of those within the healthcare industry as the October 1, 2015 deadline inches closer. Survey data that initially sounds encouraging—like that half of providers state that they’ve completed impact assessments—ends up not so hopeful when that’s the same percentage of providers who claimed readiness last year. Instead of taking advantage of the extra time, the ICD-10 conversion has slowed to a snail’s pace, particularly among smaller providers.

freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

Providers vs. Payers vs. Vendors

When comparing states of conversion readiness among different segments within the healthcare industry, it’s clear that some are moving forward with a greater alacrity than others.

  • Among payers, nearly 75 percent say they’ve completed impact assessment while 17 percent more say they’re nearly there.
  • Compared to a similar 2013 survey, when only 25 percent of payers had begun external testing, the 2014 survey shows that over half of plans report that they’ve already started testing their ICD-10 tools.
  • Only 10 percent of vendors say that their development is less than halfway complete. One-third says they’re about 75 percent of the way there, and two-fifths say they’re ready to go.
  • About two-thirds of vendors report that their ICD-10 tools are already available, although about 25 percent say their products won’t be ready until 2015.

Essentially, when evaluating the state of overall readiness, payers and vendors are in much better shape than providers.

While roughly a third of providers report that they’ve begun external testing, responses from the 2013 survey indicated that a far greater percentage—approximately three-fifths—had expected to reach that stage of development by this time. In the most recent survey, over half of respondents said they’re not sure when testing will start, or won’t be able to begin until early 2015.

Evaluating the Next 12 Months

In a Sept. 24 letter to Burwell, WEDI Chair Jim Daley wrote that the survey results indicate “the delay has negatively impacted provider progress, causing two-thirds of provider respondents to slow down efforts or place them on hold.”

What does this imply for healthcare organizations to meet the ICD-10 conversion deadline? As Daley warns, “Unless all industry segments make a dedicated effort to continue to move forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on October 1, 2015.”

Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsurcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

The Coming Storm: 5 Tips for Protecting Revenue Cycles Now In Preparation for ICD-10

The Coming Storm: 5 Tips for Protecting Revenue Cycles Now In Preparation for ICD-10

Across the country, medical practices from local single practitioner offices to large medical groups are preparing to face a storm of epic proportions: the upcoming implementation of ICD-10. There seems to be a consensus, along with ICD-10 will come an unavoidable punch to the gut for practices’ bottom lines, but we think that might assume too much. There are several steps to lessen the blow. Here are five suggestions that can help practices prime themselves effectively to meet the coming changes.

Source: freedigitalphotos.net/jscreationzs

1. Test System Compatibility With Vendors

To be sure, that what we don’t have here is a “failure to communicate,” practices should talk to vendors now to determine when and if they plan to upgrade and how their systems will interact. Consider testing systems to determine where weak points are located and document the results so problems are actionable now – not later.

2. Hire New Staff to Shoulder Increased Work Burden

Practices may experience higher numbers of claim rejections and denials following implementation of ICD-10. Now is an excellent time to consider bringing in new staff or third-party experts to help shoulder the burden of a greater workload from increased claim denials. This extra help may better allow your organization to identify denial trends so coders can make changes and cut down on future no-goes.

3. Prepare to Protect Productivity

It’s important to invest in measuring and improving coding productivity now to create a seamless transition a year from now. Staff should practice coding in the “language” of ICD-10 on existing medical records. It may also be wise to break up coders into several specialties so they can become coding “masters” of particular diagnoses and tests. There is plenty of time now to hire new staff and train existing team members to increase productivity in the short term and protect it after implementation.

4. Learn to Avoid Audits

With greater numbers of rejected claims, implementation may also ramp up the number of audits practices see. Invest in clear communication with healthcare payers in order to weed out unspecific codes and ensure perfect matching of diagnoses and clinical reports. Ask for clear communication from payers and give them the same courtesy; this conversation will eliminate the risk for shockingly high audit numbers come fall of 2015.

5. Protect against Cash Flow Problems

To prevent financial disaster with the coming of ICD-10, adopt several strategies in the short term to protect long-term cash flow. With clear communication with healthcare payers, practices should invest in training staff on ICD-10 and clearing out any existing backlogs before the new rules go into effect. Testing reimbursement systems and examining denials and time lapse between claim submission and payment may help add clarity to the transition.

ICD-10 doesn’t have to spell disaster, but learning this new coding language will undoubtedly cause practices and healthcare payers to reenact a scene from the Tower of Babel… at least, in the short-term. Consider undertaking steps like those above to soften the blow, and invest time now into ensuring a smooth transition.

Written by Dean Van Dyke

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsurcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

Is ICD-10 Putting Your Revenue Cycle at Risk?

Is ICD-10 Putting Your Revenue Cycle at Risk?

There is a great deal of anxiety and trepidation in the medical community right now as providers across the country brace themselves to prepare for the inevitable sucker punch that will result from ICD-10 implementation. While there will be a period of adjustment following full enactment in October 2015, ICD-10 doesn’t have to be a practice’s downfall. A few preparatory steps now will help prevent major headaches and minimize the potential impact on future revenue cycles.

Let’s look at a few potential consequences of the upcoming transition to ICD-10 and investigate some preemptive ploys practices can take now to set themselves up for future success.

Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Pain Point 1: Increased Claim Denials

Coders will likely see higher numbers of denied claims from healthcare payers once ICD-10 goes into effect due to the natural fallout of everyone figuring out the new system. To avert disaster, try these strategies for the short term:

  • Prior to launch of ICD-10, you should analyze rejection trends for ICD-9 claims to determine high rejection rates and causes of those rejection rates.  By understanding this, this will help you to plan for ICD-10 and potentially anticipate similar trends.
  • Designate one point-of-contact as your “claims denial czar.” This individual will communicate directly with insurance companies and healthcare payers when ICD-10 claims are denied.
  • The same staffer can identify claim rejection trends to improve filing processes and cut down on future denials.

Pain Point 2: Collapsing Productivity

The sudden burgeoning of new diagnosis codes coupled with a more complex coding system for procedures may throw a wrench in your staff’s efficiency levels. Following a few simple tips can help bypass a major productivity problem.

  • First, assess your staff’s current productivity levels with ICD-9 claims. This analysis will allow you to determine current productivity and forecast your staffing levels. It is better to know your productivity numbers now so you can assess any impact that may manifest as ICD-10 goes into effect.
  • Depending on your productivity analysis, you may need to bring on additional staff member or two to help bolster claim processing efficiency.  However, you need to ensure that your processes are optimized because adding staff without efficient processes may reduce your productivity.
  • Train individual coders to become masters of certain specialties to keep productivity high.

Pain Point 3: System Failures

When the new coding bible goes live, practices won’t be the only entity affected. Medical vendors are also likely to struggle to keep things running smoothly should incompatible systems create problems when interacting with practices and payers. To prevent catastrophe:

  • Communicate with vendors now so you’ll know what to expect when they upgrade their systems.
  • Identify areas that must be tested and arrange a testing schedule with each party.
  • Pay attention to the results gleaned from testing; this helps show exactly where to focus your efforts when working to improve system compatibility.

Pain Point 4: Awful Audits

It’s not just increased denials likely to turn a practice from a smooth operator into a smorgasbord of problems; ICD-10 will likely also usher in a new era of increased auditing due to changing audit criteria. With a solid proactive approach, though, audits can (hopefully) be avoided.

  • Avoid unspecified codes at all costs!
  • Get specific with healthcare payer policies for ICD-10 and know what level of specificity they’ll require to successfully process payments.
  • Verify that coders are successfully matching diagnosis codes to detailed clinical reports.

Ultimately, a practice’s success or failure leading up to the implementation of ICD-10 will come down to one key factor: clear communication. After all, that’s what coding is all about! Take time now to train existing staff, hire additional coders to handle specific functions and communicate with both payers and vendors to ensure a transition that’s as close to seamless as possible. A little preventive care is our prescription for a healthy handoff to the new era of medical claims classification.
Written by Dean Van Dyke

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsurcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

Debunking the Top 3 ICD-10 Myths

Debunking the Top 3 ICD-10 Myths

Despite the “stay of execution” recently granted to healthcare organizations regarding the ICD-10 conversion deadline, there’s still a fair amount of grumbling over the fact that moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10 must take place. A lot of this anti-ICD-10 logic revolves around arguments based entirely on myths and misconceptions. Here’s a look at the top three most persistent complaints and misassumptions, with the facts behind them.

1. ICD-10 Is Too Complicated

Source: rehabsoftware.com

The immediate presumption that ICD-10 will be complex because the number of codes involved will skyrocket is understandable, but ultimately inaccurate. It’s easy to forget after so many years of using ICD-9 just how vague the current codes are; there’s no differentiation between right side and left side of the body. Nearly half of the new codes are a simple designation between left and right, and the rest will offer more clarification and specificity for insurance billing and diagnostics, not more complexity.

2. We Should Just Use SNOMED CT. Or Skip Ahead to ICD-11.

First, SNOMED CT is a clinical terminology system rather than a classification system. While invaluable when implemented in software applications and in establishing a universal system with global—not just local—implications, SNOMED CT can’t do the same things that ICD-10 will help with.

The International Classification of Diseases (in any of its versions) is a system that organizes content into a standardized system of classification. This allows for a big-picture approach toward identifying and recording worldwide health trends. While ICD-10 and SNOMED CT are complementary, they’re not interchangeable.

In addition, as far as jumping directly to ICD-11 goes, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that it won’t be ready until 2017. As a frame of reference, WHO endorsed ICD-10 in 1990, however it was first used by WHO members in 1994. It’s taken a decade for the United States to get on board, and we still aren’t there yet. Fast-tracking ICD-11 is unrealistic.

3. ICD-9 Is Working Just Fine

Probably the most vocal complaint leveled against ICD-10 conversion—and arguably the least accurate as well—is the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality that everything about ICD-9 is perfectly adequate, and upgrading to ICD-10 is unnecessary. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

ICD-9 is woefully insufficient in meeting the needs of modern healthcare. Think just for a moment about how much medicine has changed, how many new diagnoses and recognized diseases there are and the tremendous technological medical advances accomplished since ICD-9 was first adopted by the U.S. in 1979. Common sense alone should tell detractors that the old classifications just aren’t applicable anymore.

ICD-9 isn’t just an older system; it’s obsolete. No amount of arguing will change this. It’s time to accept the truth about converting to ICD-10: this is a vital step healthcare organizations must take to join the rest of the 21st century and provide the best possible care for their patients.

Written by Dean Van Dyke

Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsurcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team, and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.

7 Ways to Use ICD-10 as an Opportunity

7 Ways to Use ICD-10 as an Opportunity

ICD-10

Source: www.cpticdpros.com

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.