The ICD-10 implementation is stirring up a bit of controversy in the medical world. Currently the US is operating under ICD-9, a system established in the 1970s. But since October 1, the US has switched over to the new system: ICD-10. With the impact the transition will have to both inpatient and outpatient settings, some question the implementation deadline.
The ICD-10 Impact
There is no argument that the move to ICD-10 is making an impact—it factors into coverage, service authorization, referral requirements and more–but the question is to what extent. Many think that the degree to which ICD-10 will impact people in the medical field will depend on the individual’s job. For example, physicians will need extensive ICD-10 training to factor into decisions that may determine if a claim is paid, pended or denied, whereas registered nurses will simply need to familiarize themselves with the new information systems displays for choices or terms presented in the system.
Despite being delayed time and time again, the American Medical Association recommends that CMS delay the move to ICD-10 by a minimum of 2 years. They observe that the transition is a tall task and insist CMS do more to reduce the regulatory burdens on physician practices so physicians can spend more time with patients. Even with the extension, there are those who worry it will not be enough time to work out all the ICD-10 kinks and have suggested skipping ICD-10 altogether, jumping ahead to the next iteration: ICD-11.
While such a move would be feasible, at the operational level where computer systems and other preparations are, it would be a disastrous loss of money for the healthcare industry (some estimates range as high as $22 billion), not to mention the fact that the computers, information systems and terminology of ICD-10 will be integral to informing the eventual development of ICD-11.
If you have any questions on how to get your practice up to speed with ICD-10, we are here to help. Contact us today.