The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently ruled that the final date for switching from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will be October 1, 2015. Since the new code contains more digitals and thus is more complex, many medical providers out there are dreading the switch. If you’re one of them, you should know that there are numerous benefits to the new system. Here are the seven primary benefits to converting to ICD-10.
#1: Receiving more accurate payments
Since the new coding method allows for more precise documentation, payments are likely to be more accurate as a result. Claims are also more likely to be accurately submitted the first time around, cutting down on the non-payment time, and will more closely reflect the type of treatment a patient has received.
#2: Provides a more precise and detailed diagnosis
The current ICD-9 system contains 17,000 codes, while ICD-10 has almost 160,000 codes. In fact, one of the primary reasons for implementing ICD-10 is because it allows for the very specific use of codes, providing medical personnel the opportunity to give more detailed information.
#3: ICD-10 results in fewer denials due to what is deemed a “lack of medical necessity”
Medical treatments have evolved significantly since ICD-9 was first implemented. As a result, not all treatments can be accurately coded using the current system, which is something that should not be a concern with ICD-10. This additional information should result in fewer denials due to a perceived lack of medical necessity.
#4: Your office will receive fewer requests for medical records in order to support a patient’s diagnosis
When claims are submitted accurately the first time, the odds of an insurance company requesting more information before making a payment is greatly reduced. This will mean the opportunities your staff must dig up and provide this additional information will also be reduced, leaving them more time to focus on other the needs of the practice.
#5: Allows for a decrease in the claims adjudication time frame
Fewer claims will need to be rejected or investigated due to a lack of or conflicting information. As a result, you should realize more timely payments and have fewer rejected claims to worry about appealing.
#6: It reduces the chance of medical coding errors happening
Terminology is standardized, and the new codes also contain less ambiguity, thereby reducing the odds of errors happening during the billing process.
#7: The fact that there are fewer errors will lead to improved patient safety.
Patient safety will also be improved by making it easier to identify those in need of disease management. ICD-10 also makes it easier to share information on drug side effects, thus resulting in less opportunity for error.
As you can see, the new ICD-10 codes can benefit your practice in multiple ways. To take full advantage of these benefits, you’ll want to choose a medical billing and coding firm that already has the knowledge needed to fully implement ICD-10. Here at M-Scribe, we provide professional medical coding services and can ensure your office is compliant with the latest changes. To find out more information about the new coding guidelines, please feel free to contact us at any time.