Is ICD-10 Implementation a Favorable Change?

Speculations are rife and increasing every passing month as the ICD-10 deadline approaches in the last quarter of 2015. The US government wants its healthcare industry to be all set for implementing the new and advanced coding standard but many providers are apprehensive and still weighing if this is going to be a favorable change or otherwise.

Purpose of ICD-10

Before we start weighing the pros and cons of the new coding standard, the upgraded version of ICD-9, it makes sense to gauge the reason behind introducing this system. ICD-10 is a part of the healthcare reforms taking place in the US and is a very minutely detailed coding system that describes and differentiates even the smallest of differences in the symptoms of a disease. This enables a precise understanding of the symptoms and diagnosis for any doctor who a patient visits.

Investment with Long Term Returns

One of the main motives for the healthcare reforms is to better the quality of care services and taking care of the citizens. No doubt ICD-10 will call for investments in EHR (electronic health record) software, staff training, hiring skilled and certified coders, etc. for medical practices but this is going to be an advantages and cost saving measure in the years to come.

Practices can save a lot of resources, viz., time and money behind documentation and patient data transfer. Providers won’t have to worry about clarifying the history and condition of the patient given the precision of ICD-10. EHRs will assist in faster data transfer and quicker care services apart from saving money on multiple paper files and their storage.

Incentives and Revenue Cycle

The most important functioning section of a medical practice is the revenue generation. With the new technology and upgraded coding system, it will be easier to get timely reimbursements from the insurance companies. Most of the EHR software prompt the coders if they have left out some data, like the gender or place of residence of the patient, etc. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the to get incentives when revenue loss is expected due to the new regulations of coding, physician quality reporting system (PQRS), meaningful use (MU), penalty for not participating in the incentive programs, adopting ICD-10 will prove to be helpful in the long run.

So, to summarize our discussion of whether ICD-10 implementation is a favorable change or not, will it be wrong to assume that it will prove to be beneficial in the long run?

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