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ICD-10 Becomes a Reality Today For U.S. Medical Companies

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By Phil Cohen

ICD-10 Packs a Punch With New Coding System

The day has finally come, October 1st, 2015. To some this is an ordinary day. But to anyone working in the medical or insurance field, this is a big one. The first medical coding release since 1979 has officially been put into effect. The ICD-9, which featured 14,000 medical codes has been changed to the ICD-10, ramping it up 70,000 codes. Hospitals everywhere are asking themselves, “Are we prepared?”

There’s a joke running throughout the medical world that the release resembles Y2K—the belief that when the year 2000 hit, all the computers would come crashing down. Robert Wergin, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians told The Wall Street Journal that if any issues arise, they are more likely to occur around October 15th because that is how long insurance companies take to issue claims. He reassures although, that everyone will be in a panic, but all the claims will end up going through fine.

Why the Coding Change?

The ICD-10 coding release has been a long time coming. Researchers are thrilled because the specific coding changes will make it easier to track trends and manage diseases. Modern medicine has outgrown the ICD-9, and the coding has become too broad. There is also a benefit to doctors because they will get paid based on the exact ailments and the severity they are treating.

When they say the coding will be more specific, they really mean it. Codes for things like, “struck by turtle” “sucked into jet engine” “crushed by a human stampede while sleeping” really exist. Although some of these can be seen as comical, the specifics of the code are truly important. The code will also promote more thorough check-ups done by doctors to find exactly what is wrong with a patient and make sure it is recorded properly. This can also be beneficial when a doctor looks into past records of patients and see a very specific code listed. To provide an example, instead of just one, there are now 845 codes for angioplasty.

Medicare officials say that they are giving a 12 month grace period to hospitals that don’t file claims under the specific regulations of the ICD-10. Many other insurers are not being so generous. For now, the main goal is to get the new codes into the system and make sure providers are actually using them. Hospitals lose out of millions of dollars a year from coding errors or being incomplete with their records.

Prepare Your Facility for Growth

With all the training programs, new software, practice drills, tests, and other preparations, your medical facility is most likely looking at some hefty bills. Don’t panic, PRN Funding is here to help. We provide not only medical coding factoring, but also factoring services for staffing and billing.  Invoice factoring is the solution to get your facility back on track, and ready for the months to come of new coding. Our factoring services will provide you the extra cash to build a cushion for your business during any hiccups, and also help you grow as payment prices change.

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Phil Cohen

About the author

Philip Cohen is the founder and President of PRN Funding, LLC. PRN Funding is an extraordinarily focused niche player in healthcare funding. With years of…... Read More

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