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    Expect hit to productivity when learning ICD-10 codes

    Q:  What can our small (three-provider) internal medicine practice expect to happen to our productivity when the ICD-10 codes are implemented next year?

    A:  ICD-10-CM, the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, clinical modification, is provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Center for Health Statistics. When the new codes go into effect in 2014, everyone’s productivity will be affected.

    Physicians will be required to provide more detailed documentation related to disease etiology, anatomic site and severity, healing stages, weeks in pregnancy, and episodes of care. Managers will have to develop and implement training programs for their staffs, as well as review contracts with payers and billing systems, to determine ICD-10’s impact. Nurses and laboratory staff members will need to deal with revised forms, provide increased documentation, and learn revised authorization policies.

    Billing, coding, and front-desk personnel will be confronted with the need for updated and more complex superbills and encounter forms, an increase in the number of codes from 17,000 to 140,000, and will require  greater knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology.

    How quickly practices overcome these challenges will depend on the amount of early preparation and timely review and amendment of patient-record documentation. (See Coding Cues in this issue for preparation tips.)


    The author is an associate director at SS&G Healthcare, Akron, Ohio. Send your practice management questions to [email protected]. Also engage at: www.twitter.com/MedEconomics and www.facebook.com/MedicalEconomics.


     

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