What Affect Will Switching to the ICD 10 Have on the American Medical Profession?

Everyone in the medical profession is talking about the upcoming switch to the new ICD 10 coding system. Full compliance and switch-over is expected to take place by October of 2013. This is a major change, and the impact on the medical community is likely to be huge.

Dell icd 10 implementation and other services may help medical providers and their employees make the switch-over smoother and easier for everyone.

Financial Effect

One of the major considerations is going to be the financial impact that each provider feels while making the transition. Paying for new forms, new manuals and existing employee training costs money. Estimates for exactly how much this will cost providers are widely variable, ranging from about $100,000 to nearly $3 million, depending on the size of the practice or medical system.

Reimbursement Issues

Another area that could be heavily affected during the transition is reimbursement. Not everyone will hit the ground running, and as medical providers and insurance companies sort out the kinks, delays in reimbursement are likely. Medical providers should keep that in mind and expect some cash flow difficulties during the first few months of the switch.

Some leniency in patient billing will also be necessary, and patients will need to be informed of the transition in order to pay attention to their bills and watch for discrepancies or services that are accidentally denied by their insurance companies.

Learning Curve

The ICD 10 contains nearly five times as many codes as the ICD 9, which has been in place since 1978. This means that the new system will be almost entirely new.  Most providers, especially specialists, have common ICD 9 codes memorized. For quite some time following the system implementation, providers will find that they lose time having to look up codes.

Providers will not be the only ones to feel this effect; other healthcare workers including billing and coding specialists will have a lengthy learning curve as they struggle to assimilate the new codes as part of their standard medical knowledge. Additionally, some allowances for mistakes will have to be made.

Having the right system and consistent tech support like Dell ICD 10 implementation will be one of the factors that separates those who make the transition to ICD 10 smoothly and those who struggle with the upcoming changes. Healthcare providers should already be making plans as to how they will be handling these changes so that they can continue to provide consistent care to their patients.