Health Information Management

CMS releases ICD-10 preparation video for providers

APCs Insider, December 20, 2013

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As 2013 nears an end, many providers are likely approaching 2014 with trepidation as ICD-10 implementation looms. Coder productivity is likely to take a hit, and providers need to assess the many phases of the transition in order to successfully move to ICD-10.

However, now is a good time to take stock of the ways ICD-10 will affect your facility to ensure an easier transition when implementation finally occurs October 1, 2014.

CMS recently released an extensive, 72-minute video on YouTube titled Navigating ICD-10, the Provider Perspective, which walks providers through the many steps necessary to successfully transition to the new code set. The video provides an overview of both ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, explaining that the drastic increase in the number of codes—from 13,000 in ICD-9-CM to 68,000 in ICD-10-CM and from 3,000 to 87,000 for PCS codes—will create a need for more specific reporting.

Many of the ICD-10 codes denote laterality (right or left). For example, roughly half of the 68,000 ICD-10-CM codes are related to the musculoskeletal system. Of those, more than 10,000 are fracture codes that only denote laterality. While there are 1,800 codes for fractures of the radius, there are only about 50 concepts used in different patterns.

In many instances, this increased specificity will necessitate enhanced medical record documentation.  Organizations need to ensure physicians and coders are aware of the impact ICD-10 will have on documentation to avoid resorting to the use of unspecified codes.

Proper documentation and coding is just the beginning for organizations, which must ensure computer systems are tested for ICD-10 so that claims submissions and billing works seamlessly. In its video, CMS also examines some short- and long-term strategies organizations can take in order to prepare their systems for ICD-10.

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