Physicians, practice managers, clinics, and hospitals are counting down to October 1, 2015, the day that new health care coding requirements go into effect. The new catalog of codes, from the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases – or ICD-10, for short – will include 80,000 diagnostic codes, up from the 14,000 codes that are currently used. Originally scheduled for use beginning October 2013, the Obama Administration delayed ICD-10 until October 2014, and then Congress kindly gave healthcare providers another year, until October 2015. That date, dreaded by large hospitals and single-physician facilities alike, is now upon us.
Are you ready for ICD-10? Perhaps you, like many larger hospitals and healthcare provider groups, have been planning for the change for years, hiring consultants, training staff, and installing multi-million dollar IT systems to handle the transition. After all, vital revenue streams will be at risk. From the start of business on Thursday, October 1, claims for any procedure not using the new codes will be denied by health insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. Yes, doctors, clinics, and hospitals will be able to resubmit claims denied due to incorrect coding, but the extra time and effort to resubmit will cost valuable staff time, and delay reimbursements. And we all know what that means – your cash flow could end up gasping for breath.