How ICD-10 Can Help Your Medical Practice
As physicians and billing specialist prepare to transition to ICD-10 coding, many offices have questions about the ways in which their reporting procedures will change once they have completed the move to International Classification of Diseases – 10th Revision.
The new coding system is notable in the fact that it contains a far greater number of codes which will provide a much higher level of specificity when it comes to reporting services and procedures. Outpatient services alone will see the number of reporting codes jump from 13,000 to over 68,000. While this leap in codes may mean that most offices will have to adjust at first, you should not be trepidatious about making the switch. ICD-10 coding will actually be quite beneficial for your office.
An Opportunity to Improve Documentation
The primary benefit of ICD-10 coding is that it allows physicians to more accurately document the procedures that are provided during a patient’s stay or visit. Increased accuracy means that your office will be better equipped to answer questions patients have about billing.
As your bill moves from the point of being generated and on to different payers, all parties involved will have a more detailed view of not only the services you’ve provided, but the specifics of a patient’s case. This means that your office will be in a better position to make a case for things like insurance coverage.
ICD-10 gives physicians a better language with which to articulate patient conditions, including instances of co-morbidities. This means that in some cases where co-morbidities may not have been completely accurately documented before, offices were losing out on reimbursement because of a lack of clarity in the billing system.
With a greater ability to reflect a patient’s condition and need for services, you can expect to find greater ease in communication with insurance provider, which will lead to a higher percentage of claims being paid out in the appropriate manner.
Identifying Complexity of Visits Means Receiving Payment in Full
With current coding standards, doctors are providing services to patients that they are unable to receive compensation for, simply because they do not have the codes available to them to help them report all parts of a complex visit. In this situation, many physicians have likely missed out on reimbursement simply because some parts of a patient’s visit could not be documented.
Now that you will have the ability to document even very specific and complex procedures, you can anticipate receiving compensation that accurately reflects the details of any given patient’s visit.
A Chance to Refresh You and Your Staff on Matters of Billing
The reality of adopting any new system is that you and everyone in your office will need to undergo some training and review in order to properly adopt changing standards. While this does in fact mean that time will be spent on review, this time may actually be very valuable in terms of money saved.
Billing practices are incredibly vital to receiving proper reimbursement, and any chance to review and educate yourself and your office means lowering instances of error and reminding your entire staff of the importance of being detail oriented when it comes to reporting. Getting your office on the same page about coding is a great way to reduce instances of error and refocus to make sure that you and your staff are compensated for all of the services you work so hard to provide.
Make sure that you are fully prepared to adopt this highly accurate system. Communicate with your vendors and staff and find answers to any questions you have sooner than later!