Monthly Archives: February 2015

The October 1, 2015 ICD-10 Code Change

The question everyone is asking is will ICD-10 happen this year or will it be delayed as it was in 2013 and 2014? We have sought out the nation’s top experts to give us their forecast, and have summarized the findings.

All agree that the implementation and use of ICD10 is now appearing more imminent as the opposition to its adoption has gotten smaller. In 2013 there was almost no group who endorsed its use and it was delayed. In 2014 while it did gain momentum there still a fair amount of very vocal and strong opposition and it was delayed to 2015.

Last year’s delay was buried in a national budget bill. However, this year that same budget bill has already passed and it was presented without any language to delay the ICD10 start in October.
The “ICD10Monitor” a publication which follows closely all related information on ICD9 and ICD 10 reported the following:

Despite a significant lobbying effort mounted by a small but very vocal minority within the healthcare industry, the implementation of ICD-10 is expected to proceed without further delay.
The failed push marked a third attempt to delay the Oct. 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation deadline well into 2017. Members of Congress rejected the request to include language that would again delay ICD-10 in the spending bill that was passed by Congress on Dec. 11 and ratify by the Senate on Dec. 13.

“Congress issued a strong message and sent the ‘delay ICD-10’ crowd back to the bench,” said Chris Powell, CEO of Precyse, a provider of health information management solutions and staunch advocate for ICD-10.

There are also many more signs indicating the moving forward of ICD10. Medicare has done extensive beta testing with ICD10 with several hospitals and doctors of all specialties and they indicated that the system was functioning as expected. Medicare has also begun publishing (which was not done last year) their allowed ICD10 codes sets per their National and Local Coverage Determinations.
Other major carriers (United Health Care, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc.) have also done testing and have set specific training and timelines for themselves and their providers to adhere to the coming transition.

Perhaps the most compelling argument for ICD-10 is reflected in the reason medical specialty societies pushed for the new coding standard in the first place. While ICD-9 is focused on reimbursement, ICD-10 is a more precise system for assessing quality of care and tracking diagnoses for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases.

The limitations of the outdated ICD-9 coding system have the very real effect of getting in the way of providing the best and most cost-effective patient care. ICD-9 is extremely limited in its ability to capture even basic patient information, such as classifying laterality and coding for severity of illnesses, which can result in payment errors and delays in payment processing.
We will continue to monitor the progress and will forward information as it is received, but by all indications it appears ICD-10 is “To Be”.
Interested in taking a peek at what the conversion of your favorite code will look like, plug it in to our code converter to find out