How Will ICD-10 Affect Practice Productivity?

So many codes … so little time. How will the new ICD-10 medical coding system affect practice productivity when it becomes mandatory on Oct. 1, 2014?

That depends in part upon how ready your medical practice is on that date, say Steve Arter, CEO of Complete Practice Resources, and Denny Flint, president.

“There’s lot to do. If you try to do it all at the last moment, you are going to be in trouble,” Mr. Arter told TMA’s Peggy Pringle, associate vice president for practice management services, in a video interview. “If you prepare slowly and take a measured approach over a long period of time, the negative impact will be dramatically decreased for your practice.”


Coding under ICD-10 will more require time in the long term. Physicians will have to write more information in the medical record to support the new codes, and coders will have to code claims in more detail. But practices that train doctors and coders now, and work through revised forms and processes ahead of time, can avoid a disastrous transition, Mr. Flint said.

On the plus side, the more detailed codes will reduce the number of claims rejected for lack of medical necessity, which is the No. 1 reason why payers deny claims. However, payers will demand that claims be coded to the highest level of specificity available. Mr. Arter predicts insurance companies will exploit confusion during the transition to delay payment of claims — unless you are ready to hit the ground running. If you are prepared, and you use the correct diagnosis codes, they will pay your claims.More Ways TMA Can Help  

Published May 21, 2013

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