New code ICD-10 or the International classification of Disease 10th revision has been officially adopted by the medical community. The aim of the new code is to assist nursing homes, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies in timely payments to providers and thereby reducing fraud.
The code ICD-9 was used by the medical community since 1979 in the United states, but from now the new code ICD-10 is to be adopted by all the medical providers across United States.
The ICD-9 code has 14,000 codes for medical conditions and procedures.
In 1990, World Health Organization has first endorsed the revised version, ICD-10 and it has 69,000 codes.
The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is a big feat for all medical providers as there is a drastic increase in the number of codes, but this improvement is geared towards better understanding of ailments, procedures and symptoms to detect epidemics.
The ICD-10 with 69,000 codes is more complex and detail-oriented. For example, when a patient comes in for the diagnosis of the broken arm, medical providers need to determine which arm was broken and its cause before selecting the right code.
The ICD-10 quest level of specificity can be misconstrued as comical. Classic examples include nine different codes for turkey bites. Doctors and healthcare providers need to determine if the patient was struck or pecked by the bird because there are two different codes for the same turkey attack.
The switch of the code from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is expensive. According to a study conducted by the American Medical Association in 2014 revealed that a small medical practice can spend $56,639 to almost $226,105 to update and switch to the new code. A large practice can spend as much as $8 million. These cost estimates have resulted in many companies getting loans in the past years.
There are both positives and negatives of the ICD-10 code. The supporters of the code said that the more specific codes will help the medical community to be more accurate. For example, insurance claims will be more to the point and precise. As for the negatives, the chances of wrongdoing that could happen from the doctor’s office to the insurance company will be more prevalent.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that the medicare claims with wrong codes won’t be denied for a year when the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 takes place. They said that as long as the claims are in the right family code, the providers will get their payment and will not face penalties during the transitional year.