On October 1, 2015, all medical professionals covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) will have to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Is your practice ready? Read on to learn more.
Unlike its outdated predecessor ICD-9, ICD-10 is very specific and produces detailed data about patients’ medical conditions, including information related to cause, severity, and laterality. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), this additional level of detail is important because it will allow healthcare professionals to provide better patient care, track public health trends, participate in research endeavors, and receive accurate reimbursements.
What should I do to prepare?
If you haven’t already made a transition plan, now’s the time to do so. To get you started, CMS offers a Build Your Action Plan portal, which will guide you through planning, training, updating processes, contacting vendors and payers, and testing systems.
ICD-10 has nearly five times more diagnosis codes than ICD-9. While you won’t need to memorize every new code, you should at least know the new structure and the specific ICD-10 codes that will replace the ICD-9 ones your practice uses most often today.
To find the ICD-10 equivalent of an ICD-9 code, open the tabular list of 2015 ICD-10 codes and perform a keyword search. Once you locate the correct section, read through the codes to find the one that has the greatest applicable level of specificity. For example, ICD-9 code 719.41 (pain in joint, shoulder) might translate to ICD-10 code M25.512 (pain in left shoulder) or M25.511 (pain in right shoulder). Hints: Avoid unspecified codes unless absolutely necessary, code for the cause of the condition whenever possible, and be sure to read the instructions that accompany each code chapter.
How can Park Medical Billing help?
We here at Park Medical Billing are completely prepared for the switch. Our billing specialists have more than 25 years of experience and are fully trained on ICD-10. We’ll work closely with you and your payers to ensure correct, clean, complete, and compliant claims—every time. In other words, we’ll help you get paid using the new codes. And that’s the best help of all.
Drop us a line to learn more about how we can help you get ready for the transition to ICD-10.