The oncoming transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is mandatory. Understanding the reasons why will ease the pain for practices as they budget and plan for the changeover.

Here are a few reasons why ICD-10 is a great transition.

 ICD-10 is more logical than ICD-9.

According to CMS, the structure in ICD-10 makes it easier to use than ICD-9.  Once coders adjust to the new system, finding the right code will be simple because of the way codes are created. “We ran out of room in certain parts of ICD-9”, states CMS, “So some codes are not where they would logically be placed”. Concepts such as laterality are missing, leaving room to introduce modifiers and ambiguous deadlines – creating confusion in ICD-9.

ICD-10 is more precise than ICD-9.

Because there are more codes in ICD-10, it will be more obvious for coders to find the specific detailed code they need. The new coding system eliminates confusing modifiers and the burden of interpreting ambiguous guidelines. Finally, the specificity and structure of ICD-10 makes it easier for vendors to develop electronic coding software to make billing accurate and efficient. Further, the specificity makes it easier to submit codes and claims without additional documentation.

ICD-10 makes measuring easier.

CMS says ICD-10’s wealth of clinical information will improve reimbursement methodologies, easily monitor public health, and decrease using additional documentation. Enhanced ICD-10 data can be used to design better payment systems, identify fraud, conduct research, and help providers make more accurate clinical decisions.

ICD-10 is adaptable.

ICD’s structure allows room for expansion. Unlike ICD-9, the government will be able to incorporate new procedures and devices as needed, allowing the code set to adapt as technology, science, and healthcare advance.

So, take heart. Change is never easy, but the new coding system promises to benefit just about everyone in healthcare, especially the patient.

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020