There’s a ton of new info available in the big ICD-10 switch, and a lot of it is good news for both patients and providers!
“ICD-10 makes medical coding a universal language. Critical medical information will no longer be lost in translation, no matter where you might be,” said Carmie Shepard, Program Director for Medical Billing & Coding at Carrington College in Mesa, Arizona.
There are two big benefits that come along with the new codes. Doctors can be way more specific when documenting what’s wrong and there are endless coding possibilities!
“Let’s say you came into the hospital with a broken arm that required surgery. In ICD-9, we would simply code a broken arm,” Shepard said.
In the new and improved ICD-10 world, doctors can specify which arm they’re talking about and even what kind of break it is. That way there won’t be any mix-ups in diagnosing, coding or billing your injury. And it’ll help keep sketchy providers in check since they won’t be able to hide behind super vague codes.
This means patients will get better care. More detail makes it easier for health care providers to measure the quality of the care they’re giving. That means they can create better standards and procedures based on the info they’re able to document.
ICD-10 also gives health care administrators the data they need to figure out how much time and what kind of resources go into treating a medical condition. So the next time you come in with a problem that’s been researched, you should be able to get the help you need faster!
And then there’s the money. Since coding is more detailed, doctors will be able to be super specific when reporting the care they’re providing. Under the ICD-9 system a lot of procedures get billed as “unspecified” but ICD-10 helps give those missing details which means health care providers could see a 638% increase in reimbursement!
Now let’s talk about those endless coding possibilities.
“Just think about how many new diseases, treatment protocols and medical techniques are adopted each year. Now they’ll all live somewhere, since the system allows for coding growth,” Shepard said.