Dr. Nickolai Talanin came to the U.S. in 1992 after graduating with honors from Tashkent State Medical Institute in Uzbekistan. He completed his dermatology residency at the University of Tennessee then held a fellowship position doing clinical research at the National Cancer Institute’s Dermatology Branch. He’s been published more than 40 times in leading professional journals on issues covering skincare and skin diseases. He currently works as a dermatologist in Centreville, Va.
We recently asked for Dr. Talanin’s thoughts on his practice’s transition to ICD-10. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s been eight months since ICD-10 was implemented. Has it been effective?
We did not have any major problems switching to ICD-10 – in that sense it was effective. Did it improve patient’s care or our business efficiency – I don’t think there is any difference.
Last year, predictions about practices not being prepared for the transition. Has the transition to ICD-10 for your practice been more or less turbulent than you expected? Why?
The transition has been less turbulent – we were preparing for it for a while – no major problem finding the codes that would correspond to the ICD-9 codes that we used before.
Do you have any stories about your transition to ICD-10? (Billing issues, patient issues, etc.)
Not really. There have been some rare situations, when, for example, there is no code just for a foreign body – but I had to specify what kind it was (I had to remove the piercing – the patient had pierced cheek) – so I had to come up with something that would sound close to what they have codes for.
Can you list one advantage and one disadvantage of ICD-10 so far?
Honestly, I do not see much difference.
Maybe some advantages – there are some codes that would justify lab studies more easily (screening for cancer, or screening for endocrine) – these codes were not as defined in ICD-9
If you could say anything to Medicare, what would you say?
Why did they have to do this? Just to say that it has been done?
Are there any procedures you can bill under ICD-10 that you couldn’t bill under ICD-9?
No, not in our case.
How has your medical practice trained staff for ICD-10? Do you have any lessons you can share with our readers?
We had some of our senior staff attending ICD-10 seminars, and then they passed the information to the rest of the staff.
Does ICD-10 ultimately benefit the patient? Why or why not?
I do not think patient’s care has improved with ICD-10. Why would it?
In the end, do you think ICD-10 will be an improvement for your practice? Why or why not?
There’s improvement in a sense that it is one headache less to worry about.
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Last Updated on July 4, 2016