What’s the buzz about the ICD-10? The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9, 10) and other health related issues is the system that is implemented by medical billing and claims professionals to identify information found within the medical record and translate this information into coded form.
This is the process by which claims are submitted to the insurance companies and it is how the flow of revenue is created within any healthcare facility. Currently, the United States refers to a system known as the ICD-9 for this information. In light of this, many are wondering what is all the buzz about the ICD-10?
The facts are, data constantly changes because the medical field is constantly changing. In fact, the medical data represented by codes must be evaluated and reorganized by a committee annually. Most of the known world is currently operating on the ICD-10 database. The U.S. is the only country that has yet to operate within the ICD-10.This excludes undeveloped countries that do not operate within a coding system at all.
Despite the hype, implementation of ICD-10 could benefit the world of records management once all the kinks have time to smooth out. Does this mean that it will be an easy transition? Not exactly; however, the transition is not set to summon forth doomsday either. The transition could potentially cause a lag in the revenue flow, but accreditation agencies such as AHIMA (American Health Information Medical Association) are implementing training programs to certify appropriate medical staff in the ICD-10.
In addition, all new students who are preparing for future careers in the field of Medical Claims and Records, are being educated on both the ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding systems. This will prepare a new generation of coders to be effectively assimilated into the changing system. It is not difficult to imagine that due to all this change, things might get a little crazy; hence all the buzz about the ICD-10.
However, this is not an unsolvable problem. The most likely scenario is that our nation will continue to operate on its current ICD-9 coding system and slowly introduce ICD-10 until the transition is complete. Change has to occur. The medical field is a segment of the economy that cannot afford to be inaccurate. Any discrepancies can mean the difference of life and death for a patient. It can also mean that proficiency in billing and insurance coverage is precariously off-base.
Professionals who work in this field each day must adhere to meticulous guidelines in order to maintain accuracy, generate flow of revenue, and look out for the good of the patients who depend on them . The only way that the medical field can continue to be effective is to continuously update and change with the flow of time and medical advances.
Overall, the ICD-10 is well-respected by most of the medical profession due to its compatibility on a worldwide scale and it is touted to be a more accurate type of classification system than its counterpart, ICD-9. While change does not have a reputation of being simple, the field of medicine has been accustomed to change for the sake of the greater good for all those involved. Change, for the greater benefit of the nation’s consumers- that is what the ICD-10 buzz is all about.
By J.A. Johnson