ICD-10 FACTS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published some facts about ICD-10 intended to dispel myths and address common questions about the upcoming transition:

  1. The ICD-10 transition date is October 1, 2015 – The government, payers, and large providers alike have made a substantial investment in ICD-10. This cost will rise if the transition is delayed, and further ICD-10 delays will lead to an unnecessary rise in health care costs. Get ready now for ICD-10.
  2. You don’t have to use 68,000 codes – Your practice does not use all 13,000 diagnosis codes available in ICD-9. Nor will it be required to use the 68,000 codes that ICD-10 offers. As you do now, your practice will use a very small subset of the codes.
  3. You will use a similar process to look up ICD-10 codes that you use with ICD-9 – Increasing the number of diagnosis codes does not necessarily make ICD-10 harder to use. As with ICD-9, an alphabetic index and electronic tools are available to help you with code selection.
  4. Outpatient and office procedure codes aren’t changing – The transition to ICD-10 for diagnosis coding and inpatient procedure coding does not affect the use of CPT for outpatient and office coding. Your practice will continue to use CPT.

The secret to success will be to learn and understand what is changing so that your practice will be ready come October 1.  For more information, CMS has established a website that will help you prepare for ICD-10 called the Road to 10.