Your practice management solution will probably need an update as ICD-10 codes become the norm. But your practice may also need to make changes.
One of the talking points around ICD-9 versus ICD-10 codes is that ICD-10 codes are much more extensive and more accurately provide information about the client’s condition.
For instance, in the case of an overdose, ICD-10 codes offer significantly more coding options than ICD-9 to explain the exact situation that resulted in the overdose. ICD-10 codes provide more thorough explanations of treatment, the reasons behind it, and what the diagnosis is with a much higher degree of accuracy. This is a clear advantage of ICD-10 codes over ICD-9 codes.
The more information we can record about an encounter with a client, the better our path towards treatment. Since billing codes have so much to do with the way we record information during treatment, expanding the range of information in coding increases the overall information in medical records.
Unfortunately, ICD-10 codes don’t capture more information if the person doing the coding doesn’t have much information to begin with. It’s almost a Catch-22. Without requirements for billing, medical professionals might not put down enough information in charts because they’re not forced to. But without sufficient information from medical professionals, coders’ jobs become pretty impossible.
Practicing coding and getting used to the new ICD-10 codes and getting your systems prepared is only one step of the process. Your staff should be ready to start coding with ICD-10 when the day comes and that’s often the focus of discussions surrounding ICD-10 changeovers. But what about your psychologists or psychiatrists—are they ready to changeover to the new ICD-10 codes?
The best way to find out is by testing it out. If your staff members have taken ICD-10 training sessions, you can start using your charts to practice coding. Not only does this prepare your coders to start coding, it also helps you find gaps in information in charts. Working with your clinicians now to figure out any needed changes in procedures will let you make those changes before the new requirements kick in.
The path to 100% ICD-10 coding isn’t easy but you can make it easier by starting now.