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    Even more ICD-10 codes on their way


    What doctors should know

    Physician coding educator Betsy Nicoletti, MS, CPC, says the key thing for practitioners is to have a software system that lets physicians search easily. For internal medicine, family medicine providers and cardiologists, this means making sure you and your staff are entering information accurately.

    “I would make sure my physicians understood the risk-based adjusted diagnostic coding and make sure they are looking at their own specified codes and documenting and submitting claims correctly,” she says. “More than 90% of the ICD-10 procedure code updates are related to inpatient cardiology and cardiothoracic procedures. Cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons will need to continue to document the specific approach, vessels included and any implanted materials or devices for cardiovascular procedures to support assignment for the new codes.”

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    Judy Waltz, JD, a healthcare partner of the San Francisco office of national law firm Foley & Lardner, notes that while she’s sure that providers will cringe at the idea that an update is necessary, and there will be even more new codes to be learned, overall, it seems like most in the medical community have survived the transition to ICD-10 without too much difficulty. 

    “There are a few months before the new codes will be in place, giving people time to digest and come up with an action plan as to how to integrate these new codes,” she says. “The ‘need’ for new codes is to be as precise as they can be. The U.S, in using ICD-10, is already behind some other countries, which are using ICD-11. There is a process where new codes can be requested by outside parties, and the meeting notes show that some were requested.”

    To not get left behind, all providers should review their progress post-ICD-10 implementation, identify key risks and implement action plans to mitigate documentation, coding, reimbursement and revenue cycle risks. 




    Keith Loria
    Keith Loria is a contributing writer to Medical Economics.

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    • There is no end to the desire of the central planners to predict and thus control all human behavior. Despite their considerable and expensive efforts to do so, they predictably continue and will always continue to fail. Unfortunately, there is a severe price to pay in the loss of freedom and individuality as a result of their immoral efforts. Central planning of healthcare is a mortal sin against the individual and should be resisted by all freedom loving people.

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