Medical coders around the U.S. dread the switch to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), which, according to a Department of Health & Human Services mandate, must take place on Oct. 1, 2013. Those coders and their bosses expect the conversion to be expensive, time-consuming and disruptive — so much so, in fact, that the move to ICD-10 is drawing comparisons to Y2K.
Citing a white paper from Health Data Consulting, ICD-10 Watch notes, however, that the conversion does come with benefits — among them, more appropriate contracting, better risk protection and more precise payment. And making the switch to ICD-10 won’t be so bad if CIOs recognize that it’s not just a medical coding problem, and make sure such departments as accounting, billing and reporting get involved.
Ultimately, the ICD-10 conversion, though potentially disruptive, has been a long time coming. The U.S. is still using ICD-9 — which, at more than 30 years old is, to say the least, obsolete — while many countries have been using ICD-10 for the better part of a decade. Oh, and did we mention that ICD-11 is now in beta?