The road to ICD-10 is starting to pick up serious momentum again. When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this year that the long-delayed coding upgrade was being pushed back yet again, this time to October 1, 2015, many in the healthcare industry became subsequently worried that all of the time and money they had invested into the initiative — anticipating a 2014 implementation deadline — would be for nothing. But over the summer, ICD-10 preparations have been beginning to pick up speed again, with CMS making new tools available to providers and payers to help both understand the new coding system and learn best practices for adopting it into a practice's workflow.
To that end, CMS released a fact sheet earlier this month, outlining and debunking many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding ICD-10. Here are four of them, courtesy of industry news source FierceHealthIT:
- ICD-10 will be delayed again: It may be easy to think this as it's been delayed three times before already, CMS is firm in sticking with October 1, 2015, as the final deadline. According to the agency, any date past this point represents an increasingly smaller return on investment for clinics.
- ICD-10 requires too much detail for EHR documentation: While practices will be able to submit more specific diagnostic codes and EHR details, CMS points out that there will still be more nondescript codes available to use if the records don't require "a higher level of specificity."
- It's outdated: Although much of the rest of the developed world has already adopted ICD-10 into their medical practices, with ICD-11 slated to begin implementation in 2017, that does not mean ICD-10 itself is out of date. On the contrary, coding updates have been made made to ICD-10 in the years since its initial development, and will continue well after implementation in the U.S. is finalized.
- The tens of thousands of new codes make ICD-10 too complicated: "It won't be more complex, CMS says, just like adding words to a dictionary doesn't make it harder to use," writes FierceHealthIT. "The greater number of codes will in fact make it easier to find the correct code, CMS adds, and there will be an alphabetic index and electronic coding tools to help in selecting the right code."
Being able to best take advantage of ICD-10's new features — and prevent it from becoming a drag on your clinic's productivity — means needing up-to-date chiropractic documentation software. By upgrading your chiropractic EHR today, practices can save themselves plenty of logistical and billing headaches down the road.