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Important Preparation Information for ICD-10 Implementation


October 1, 2015, will bring big changes to healthcare. That day, the ICD-10 coding system will replace ICD-9, which has been in place for decades. The change is required for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Basics

The American Medical Association offers important clarification about ICD-10, beginning with the acronym itself: ICD-10 refers to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. This new system “is the diagnosis code set” that “will be used to report diagnoses in all clinical settings.”

This system is required for everyone who “must comply with the HIPAA requirements.” It is important to note that it “will be used to report hospital inpatient procedures only.” According to the American Medical Association, it will not apply to “Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)” which will remain in place to “report services and procedures in outpatient and office settings.”

Why ICD-10?

Since ICD-9 was implemented decades ago, medical technology has advanced considerably, and ICD-10 coding will incorporate those advances. In addition, the code format is expanded, which means that it has the ability to include greater detail within the code. Not surprisingly, the additional detail “can provide more specific information about the diagnosis.”

As new advances occur in the coming years, ICD-10 will expand to allow for their inclusion. “The ICD-10 code set … is more flexible for expansion, including new technologies and diagnoses.” This is in contrast to ICD-9, which “does not reflect advances in medical technology and knowledge” and does not include any means “to expand the code set and add new codes.”

The Transition

Across the country, healthcare facilities are preparing for the implementation of ICD-10. Although training needs may vary from one facility to another, it may be advisable for all staff members to be trained in ICD-10. Clinicians and billing staff should receive documentation training and coding training, respectively, and other staff should have ICD-10 overview training.

Even with the best training, there may still be glitches. The American Medical Association (AMA) fought the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the transition. However, the two reached an agreement: “for one year after Oct. 1, Medicare will not deny Part B claims … ‘based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code,’ as long as providers use valid codes ‘from the right family.’”

ICD-10 and Your Next Healthcare Career Option

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we recruit and place healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities throughout the United States. Whether you have already been trained in ICD-10 or you are new to it, we would love to work with you. Give us a call at 310.436.3650 today!