By now, most individuals working in Healthcare have heard of ICD-10. The varying degrees of familiarity with the new diagnostic and procedure code set are as varied as the individual reactions to its upcoming required implementation. Some individuals shudder in fear as the diagnosis codes leap from ~13,000 codes in ICD-9 to ~60,000 in ICD-10 (not to mention the ~76,000 procedure codes that will now be required for use in the Inpatient environment.) Some individuals (certainly most coders and billers) can not sleep at night knowing the learning curve, productivity slowdown, and likely revenue loss that this initiative will certainly yield. Perhaps most disturbing, however, is that many individuals (including providers) believe that ICD-10 will not have an impact on their staff, their work, their finances, or the patient experience.
That, unfortunately, is a scary and fallacious understanding of what is ahead. ICD-10 will impact everyone. To make the point, I offer an example of a basic patient office visit.