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Diving Into ICD-10 – An Independent Expert’s Tips for Specialists

By: Nextech | March 11th, 2015

Diving Into ICD-10 – An Independent Expert’s Tips for Specialists Blog Feature

4_quick_icd_tipsIn a February series of Nextech webinars, James H. Leach – CEO of Detroit-based E&M Consulting, a national supplier of training in medical documentation and coding, shared his perspective on ICD-10. Presenting separately to providers in ophthalmology, dermatology and plastic surgery, Leach began each webinar with a helpful pointer on reference materials and good advice about “diving in.” In his opening comments:

  • Leach noted that the complete, 2015 ICD-10 CD code book is available for download at no charge from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to being provided for free, this electronic version is easily searchable – indispensable even if you already have a printed copy.
  • There is very little chance, in Leach’s opinion, that ICD-10 will see yet another delay. Congress recently voted to deny a request for extension from the State of New York, and the tone of Congressional hearings has been extremely positive. Leach’s message: “Don’t wait; be prepared; dive in!”

With that encouragement, Leach then walked participants through ICD-10 with examples specific to each specialty. The walk-throughs were enlightening around new documentation elements, such as laterality, causes and underlying conditions, and includes/excludes notes, plus new elements that are relevant only to some specialties – such as when plastic surgeons specify the type of vehicle when treating a patient injured in a transport accident.

ICD-10 Serves a Meaningful Purpose

For each specialty covered, Leach’s presentation was a reminder that the complexity of ICD-10 does serve a meaningful purpose, especially with payers, and that mastering the complexity will require providers to document care with new sets of specifics. It was also clear that ICD-10’s challenges and the new specifics to master are, in many important ways, truly unique to each specialty. For more on ICD-10 considerations by specialty, see our recent posts covering dermatology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery.

EMR Can Help Automate the Transition

As Leach noted, diving into ICD-10 involves systems as well as professionals, and an EMR that helps to automate the ICD-10 transition can ease much of the burden. That’s especially true if the EMR is designed specifically to support the type of practice in which it’s deployed. 

Contact us to learn more about how Nextech is making the ICD-10 transition as seamless as possible with its EMR that builds the codes while you diagnose. Click here to watch the recorded webinars. 

Don't wait for October 1 - Start coding in ICD-10 today - Click here to request more information