Just How Is ICD-10 Doing Six Months Out?

April 1, 2016 marked the six-month anniversary date of the switch to the ICD-10 code set that caused fear and anxiety among practices and practitioners nationwide. Much like the Y2K forecast, the Armageddon-like predictions that the system would come to a grinding halt did not come to pass and generally speaking, many have stated that the switchover was not nearly as hard as was anticipated.

Many attribute this to the one-year extension from an initial implementation date of October 2014 to October 2015, giving ample time for training, coordination, and education. But it is not time for anyone to rest on their laurels as the first year of ICD-10 compliance came with somewhat of a grace period from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with claims not being denied for transition coding problems as long as they’re submitted in the same “family”.  Some feel that the true deadline is October 1, 2016 when claims when coding must be on point and when the partial code freeze ends and regular updates to ICD-10 will begin.

CMS recently unveiled plans for implementing its first update to the new coding system on Oct. 1, 2016 stating that specialty practices will now need to prepare for the first update to ICD-10. The ICD-10 Coordination & Maintenance Committee announced at a recent meeting that 1,900 diagnostic codes and more than 3,650 new procedure codes will be released on October 1, 2016.

Coders in this new era of ICD-10 need to be much more tech savvy to keep up productivity and keep up with code additions. But it seems that based on a Physicians Practice survey, 47.3 percent of readers state they are having no problems with the ICD-10 transition and claims are being rejected at the usual rate. Other surveys show that 60 percent of practices claim they have not seen an impact on monthly revenue. Keeping up to date will remain key for future success, otherwise, among other things, how would you be able to pull this code out of your back pocket when you need it?

V91.07 – Burn due to water-skis on fire

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