There will be a need for ICD-10 search tools for the usage and implementation of the new ICD-10 codes, even after implementation has been put in place with many practices. One of the biggest changes of the new coding as well as the challenge to coders and other administrative personnel is the sheer increase in the number of codes. Overall, there are at least as five times as many new codes as before the changes, and all diseases related to that condition code must be considered.
More detail, more accuracy
Due also to the increasing demand for accuracy through electronic health records (EHR) the pressure is on both coders and clinicians to maintain a high level of accuracy in documentation and reporting. This means that there will need to be more interaction between coder and clinician: coders will need a better understanding of anatomy and procedures while the emphasis for clinicians will lie more with detailed and updated notation of patient health and any procedures that were performed.
When looking up a disease code, such as hypertension, it will be more important than ever before to associate the correct usage to the right combination of codes. This can sometimes create confusion on the part of the coder and entails a bit more detective work. For example, codes for hypertension associated with kidney failure would be listed in the section pertaining to renal conditions, while the code for diabetic hypertension would be listed under the diabetes section.
Possible Search Tools for ICD-10 coding and implementation:
While reminding that there is no ‘one size fits all’ perfect search tool for all situations and the online medical education site Medscape recommends several good ICD-10 downloadable support resources for clinicians found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ICD-10 website. These include an introduction to the new coding, steps needed for successfully implementing the new system, testing and guides for small, medium and large practices, as well as smaller hospitals.
Training as Search Tool
The CMS and Medscape both recommend two accredited and highly respected organizations which advocate for coders and other health records personnel as well as offer excellent training: the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). These two societies also offer training for trainers and business administrators. The AAPC‘s documentation training for clinicians stresses the need for improved chart documentation and to how work more closely with coders and other records professionals. Likewise, coders and other EHR professionals are taught how to clarify what is written for consistency and accuracy, and convert each patient interaction into code. The AAPC also offers a tool for comparing ICD-9 to ICD-10 and converting ICD-10-CM codes (but not PCS).
In addition, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) and the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ICD-10 Playbook offer professional resources, including indexes to white papers from varied organizations for coders and other records personnel as well as clinicians.
For more information on assistance with ICD-10 implementation, contact M-Scribe medical billing service. A full-service medical billing and documentation company helping practices across the country with billing, coding and auditing since 2002. M-Scribe now offers free ICD-10 training webinars to help you and your staff to get acquainted with the new coding in time for the 2014 implementation deadline - sign up today!
Image courtesy of icd10cmcode.com.