To say that medical practitioners are apprehensive about ICD-10 is quite the understatement. Its predecessor, ICD-9, took effect more than 30 years ago, so most of today's physicians have spent the majority of their clinical careers using this coding system. Now, even as physicians are struggling to make heads or tails of chiropractic EHR software, they have a whole new and equally earth-shattering change to contend with.
So why, exactly, is ICD-10 being introduced? Like chiropractic EHR, the onset of ICD-10 is ultimately intended to improve the quality of care each patient receives, primarily by giving doctors a more detailed and effective method of documentation. This will enable more detailed diagnoses notes and will facilitate the transmission of medical data through the use of EHR software.
In a nutshell, ICD-10 provides an increased degree of specificity, which will improve the process of diagnosing patients in the following ways:
- Cutting down on extra needed documents to explain nuances of patient conditions
- Detecting financial abuse and fraud within health care system
- Establishing health policy
- Identifying public health events
- Processing payments and reimbursement queries
- Providing more useful data to analyze trends in condition and care.
These are just a few advantages that ICD-10 will provide once it takes effect in 2014, as detailed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In future installments, we'll review a few basic questions that chiropractors may have about its day-to-day applications.
ICD codes influence all areas of medical treatment, from financial coverage to long-term care. As such, the greater degree of detail that is conveyed through this coding, the better patient outcomes overall. To prepare yourself from the transition to ICD-10, seek out chiropractic management software that is equipped to implement this coding system, and flexible enough to adapt to your specific needs.