CMS Finalizes ICD-10 Date
The time has come. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the ICD-10 Date, officially setting the implementation on October 1, 2014. The transition was originally set to take place in October 2013
A survey conducted by CMS revealed that up to one quarter of health care providers did not feel that they would be ready to fully implement ICD-10 by the initial set date of October 2013. CMS reports that they believe this extension will give covered health care providers and other covered entities more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition.
What does ICD-10 compliance mean?
According to CMS, being ICD-10 compliant means that everyone covered by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is able to successfully conduct health care transactions using ICD-10 codes. This includes payers who do not deal with Medicare claims as well.
Further, claims that do not use ICD-10 codes will not be processed, so it’s important to begin learning about ICD-10 now.
Will the codes change?
ICD-10 codes are different from ICD-9 codes. They have a completely different structure. Currently, ICD-9 codes are mostly numeric and have three to five digits. ICD-10 codes are alphanumeric and contain three to seven characters. ICD-10 is also more robust and descriptive. Like ICD-9 codes, ICD-10 codes are expected to be updated each year.
Why is the ICD-10 change happening?
ICD-9 is 30- years old. It has outdated terms and is inconsistent with current medical practices. ICD-9 also limits the number of codes that can be created; there is a cap and many of the categories are filled. Therefore, a smooth transition is vital to the nation’s health care system.
What type of ICD-10 training will medical coding staff need?
Implementation of ICD-10 will change the way coding is currently done and will require significant effort and training to implement.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recommends that training should begin no later than six months before the compliance date of October 1, 2014. Training varies for different organizations, but it’s projected for training to take 16 hours for outpatient coders and 50 hours for inpatient coders. For example, physician practice coders will need to learn ICD-10 diagnosis coding only, while hospital coders will need to learn both ICD-10 diagnosis and ICD-10 inpatient procedure coding.
AHIMA suggests that medical coders look for specialty-specific ICD-10 training offered by specialty societies and other professional organizations. Also, take into account that ICD-10 will be integrated into the CEUs that certified coders must take to maintain their credentials.
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