On October 1, 2015, the long awaited ICD 10 codes finally replaced the ICD 9. This has happened after two years of delay from the initial set date of October 2013. So one might think why exactly do we need ICD 10 codes if ICD 9 had been faithfully working all these years? The answer is simple.
The ICD 9 codes had been developed and implemented in the 1970s. Since then, many things have changed in the medical field. Advancement in technology, healthcare equipments and methods, discovery of new diseases, ailments and their diagnosis are the main reasons why ICD 10 codes have been implemented.
Now that we have that in perspective, we will discuss the various benefits of ICD 10 and how it is going to affect the medical sector.
- Global public benefits– Uptil now, the United States was the only nation not adhering to the ICD 10 CM. With its introduction, the US can now globally interact and share the quality of care and best practices. The ICD 10 CM is more effective at defining diseases and ailments and their diagnosis. There are multiple additions to the codes, with up to 16000 in general and 17000 with sub extensions. This will definitely affect the billing services directly, making it much more easier to process and facilitate.
- Improved Quality– The ICD 10 CM and PCS offer a much more detailed and precise set of rules to facilitate patient care. With detailed research, the data is able to capture more meaningful ways to understand complications and treat rare medical outcomes. Increased detailing will help in identifying the best service provider for a patient. ICD 10 offers a much more precise and detailed coding system for medical complications. It will help identify the best medical solutions for the patients.
- Increased performance– ICD 10 CM and PCS is an upgrade to ICD 9 and its not called an upgrade for nothing. It has been modulated specifically to offer a more accurate cost analysis. It helps in finding an ideal service provider and cost containment methods. ICD 9 would often face the problem of grouping new procedures with old ones. ICD 10 solves this problem by offering comprehensive procedures with greater attention to detail. This allows the providers to evaluate their performance and reallocating their resources to promote themselves.
- Reduced Risk factors– Greater attention to detail also helps in reducing risks involved in the medical diagnosis. For example, ICD 10 helps in identifying whether laparoscopic surgery or open surgery is more suitable for a certain case, which in turn affects many lives and billions of dollars. This has a greater impact on determining the severity of certain diseases, ailments and external injuries. Speaking of which, ICD 10 codes have a much more detailed descriptions of external injury surveillance with the data captured over the years.
- Better claims facility– The main problem with ICD 9 codes was that they were not designed with reimbursement purposes. It was realized much after they had already been implemented and a proper reimbursement module was never fully incorporated. ICD 10 CM and PCS were developed with drawing claims as a priority.
ICD 10 CM and PCS offer a much more detailed and comprehensive attention to identifying resources and needs of the patients, a much more subtle way of drawing claims and an improved billing service.