ICD-10 Codes have the potential to influence every aspect of business in the health care industry. The transition from ICD-9 because of the expansion in medical databases has led to a more up-to-date billing and coding system will allow thorough record keeping, more efficient billing and coding, and overall enhanced organization of vital information. As such, this IT system change will influence all fields of the health care industry, causing them to integrate knowledge, technology, and lines of communication. The implementation of ICD-10 codes has the potential to enhance the quality of patient services across the board. Each health care facility will need to analyze their current operations, expenses, and quality assurance aspects of their operations before transitioning to this new economic system.
As of October 13, 2013, every health care facility will transition from the use of ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes. This system also encompasses enhanced security and privacy measures to detect fraud while optimizing the accuracy of medical diagnoses around the world. The benefits of this new system far outweigh the associated challenges, as health care providers of different nationalities and geographic locations will be able to understand clinical information. The implementation of a standard health care billing and coding system also eliminates the risks of misinterpreted information and clinical errors in diagnostic reports. Electronic health records changed the face of the medical industry initially, now enhanced databases of information provided by ICD-10 codes will change the operational aspects of each health care facility.
Challenges Associated with ICD-10 Codes
The costs associated with ICD-10 codes are by far one of the top drawbacks of this new system. A large amount of money will be required to implement ICD-10 codes no matter how large a health care facility is. Additionally, each health care worker, IT professional, or administration professional will need to be trained in understanding and using ICD-10 codes, which is not only time consuming but can also exacerbate already high expenses. Physicians and health care workers who are used to traditional methods of operations are already voicing their opinions on this system due to the steep learning curve involved to utilize its technology. In order to experience the large amount of benefits associated with using ICD-10 codes, anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars will be required for its transformation.
The government is pushing a reimbursement system that would make major changes to existing methods of operation. The use of this new technology becomes burdensome for small-scale health care facilities because of the high prices incurred for a minimal financial benefit. Larger health care facilities may need to use millions to overhaul their current system and update to new ICD-10 codes. Although small steps are taken in intervals to prepare for launching this health care IT system, many professionals may struggle with current workloads in addition to specific training required to understand its interface. In summary, ICD-10 codes offer the flexibility required in a highly technological age to organize data in a quick and efficient manner, but they may present many challenges for health care facilities as October 2013 approaches.