Five Facts about ICD-10 Implementation

Kathy McCoy, MBA September 24th, 2012

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Stay up on the latest on ICD-10 with these resources

Everyone is talking about ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS implementation. Since the extension of the deadline from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014 was announced, many wonder what we can really expect. Here are five facts about implementation that are without dispute:

  1. October 1, 2014: a Deadline Without an Extension
    It would be a mistake to consider the October 1, 2014 deadline for implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS as flexible. On that date, all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covered entities must implement the new code sets. Billing for inpatients with dates of service or dates of discharge of October 1, 2014 or after must use ICD-10. While HHS has extended the implementation date in the past, there are no known extensions built into its present implementation schedule.
  2. Non-covered Entities Should Use ICD-10-CM/PCS, too.
    Workers’ Compensation and auto insurance companies are not covered by HIPAA, but that does not mean that for them ICD-10 is not a good idea. ICD-9-CM/PCS will no longer be maintained after October 1, 2014, so it is in non-covered entities’ best interest to use the new system. There is significantly more detail in the ICD-10 coding system, which will be of great value to both covered and non-covered entities.
  3. ICD-10 Will Make Coding Easier
    Some believe that the increased number of codes available to the ICD-10-CM/PCS system will make it more difficult to use, but ask yourself this. If you were looking to buy a quality reference dictionary, would you buy the smallest book available, or would you go for the biggest? So it is with ICD-10-CM/PCS. Its increased specificity will enable coders to make better quality selections more quickly. Because codes are grouped logically, getting to the right code is no more difficult than it has been with ICD-9-CM/PCS. In fact, alphabetic indexes and electronic coding tools currently in use in ICD-9-CM/PCS will be available for ICD-10-CM/PCS also. And over time, we should see more sophisticated electronic coding tools become available to take advantage of the new ICD-10-CM/PCS specificity.
  4. Printed ICD-10 Code Handbooks are Available Now
    We are all too familiar with the declining use of print media, and many fear that printed ICD-10-CM/PCS manuals are already a thing of the past. The truth is that manuals for both ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS are available from a variety of publishers now. Shop around; manuals range in size from 700 to over 1800 pages in length and some are well illustrated. Yes, we are definitely in the electronic age, but ICD-10-CM/PCS is a system of coding that is independent of electronic hardware or software platforms and will continue to be supported by print publishers in the future. You can also find a great electronic ICD-10 Look-Up Tool on the ICD-10 Watch site—see the bottom right corner.
  5. ICD-10 is Up-to-date Now
    Keep in mind that ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS are both codes and systems of coding. Since their initial development, ICD-10-CM/PCS codes have been updated annually to keep pace with continuous advances in medicine and technology. Code sets, or coding systems, continue to be updated as well, but will likely be “frozen” at some point prior to implementation.

Keep Forging Ahead

Kareo encourages you to continue your implementation efforts with research, planning, education, testing, and more testing. Stay up-to-date on ICD-10-CM/PCS with the following resources:

ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Frequently Asked Questions

ICD-10 (and ICD-9) Coding Handbooks

Latest ICD-10 news from CMS

ICD-10 email updates from CMS

ICD-10 posts on this blog

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