The ICD-10 transition last October brought much stress to the healthcare community. With more than 144,000 codes and so much to learn, providers wondered how it would impact their practices, financially and administratively.
While the current ICD-10 “grace period” offers physicians at least some protection against gratuitous rejections as everyone adjusts to the new system, this concession will end on October 1 2016. This means that, in a matter of months, all physicians in the U.S. will be expected to code in ICD-10 with a high level of proficiency and specificity. Those who cannot will likely experience a sudden uptick in rejected claims, as well as open themselves up to the possibility of non-compliance fines from Health and Human Services (HHS).
ICD-10 may be only six months old in the United States, but new codes have already been proposed for October 1, 2016. Previously, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had placed a five-year code freeze on ICD-10 to help ease the healthcare industry into the new code set. Well, that ended in late March. The CDC announced proposed, new ICD-10-CM codes, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed, new ICD-10-PCS codes. In total, approximately 1,943 new ICD-10-CM codes were announced along with 3,651 new ICD-10-PCS codes.
Settled into ICD-10 yet? The infamous transition to the new coding system last October was met with a significant amount of controversy, but now almost six months out, it appears it wasn't as rocky as many believed, despite the 155,000 total ICD-10 codes.
If you’ve been paying attention to current events these days, you’re likely already aware of the Zika virus outbreak that’s hitting the Americas. Cases of Zika are now beginning to pop up in North America, which has prompted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to order their Emergency Operations Center to assume a Level 1 activation status (its highest level), in preparation for a possible nationwide outbreak in the United States. A Level 1 activation places CDC personnel into overdrive, allowing for 24/7 response capabilities. Just to give you an idea of how serious this is, the CDC has only ordered Level 1 activations three times in their 70-year history—after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, during the H1N1 outbreak of 2009, and during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Of course, the World Health Organization (WHO) already declared the Zika virus a “global health emergency” back on Feb. 1, 2016.
Tomorrow marks two months since the official implementation of ICD-10 across the country. Much was made about the transition with detractors loudly vocalizing their concerns about the negative consequences ICD-10 would bring on medical practices. But what does the data say? KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms in the United States recently conducted a survey of nearly 300 healthcare IT professionals via a webcast to gauge just how successful or problematic the ICD-10 transition has been.
The days before October 1 represented a stressful time for many medical practices. Questions of how the ICD-10 transition permeated across the country with many practitioners wondering how the new coding system would affect their respective clinics and impact their revenues. Now, a month after the transition, data has been released that could provide some clear answers to those very questions. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a public statement detailing metrics for Medicare fee-for-service payments throughout the first few weeks of ICD-10.
On this blog, we’ve already discussed the immediate “aftermath” of the ICD-10 launch in the United States. Needless to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some folks had predicted. Sure, there have been a few annoying problems—mainly caused by a handful of insurance companies who refuse to play by the “grace period” rules that were set down by the CMS. Other than that, however, things have gone rather smoothly so far. In fact, according to metrics compiled and published by Relay Health, things appear to have already begun to normalize since the October 1st ICD-10 deadline (and the month isn’t even over yet).