DOES THE DELAY IN THE ICD-10 TRANSITION MEAN I CAN KICK BACK MY HEALS AND WAIT?

It is official, The ICD-10 compliance has been pushed back from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. Now, while this gives everyone some breathing room, it should NOT cause providers to delay preparation! There will be crucial elements to medical chart note documentation that will need to be met in order for coders, billers and insurance companies to process claims. Most physicians are not currently meeting these requirements, and it will take time to learn how to effectively document given time constraints.

It is expected that the coding system will go from approximately 14,000 codes to 70,000 codes in the outpatient setting and 3,400 codes to 72,000 codes for inpatient when ICD-10 goes in to effect.

ICD-10 is an update and expansion of diagnosis codes used in the medical environment. Currently ICD-10 is used throughout the world for diagnosing and treatment. The United States is the only country who still uses the ICD-9 coding system. As a matter of fact, Australia is going to start Beta-testing ICD-11 January 2014.

The transition is expected to impact the providers, payer/business operation, medical management, and claims payers. According to The American Health Information Management Association, providers may experience up to 6 months of delays in reimbursement. Remember, the payers will be on the same learning curve. Delay of payment should be EXPECTED and you should prepare now to have enough money in reserves to pay staff and stay afloat during this time. Delayed preparation is really not an option.

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