Doctors to use massive medical coding system by October 1

Doctors to use massive medical coding system by October 1

Physicians and hospitals across the United States will have to begin using a massive new coding system after October 1 to describe your visit on insurance claims, to make sure they get paid. At present, the US health providers use a system of nearly 14,000 codes to designate a diagnosis, for reimbursement purposes and in medical databases. The soon-to-be used updated system will have nearly 68,000 codes, essentially a huge dictionary to capture more details from the chart of a patient.

Leaving aside strange accidents, the government said that with the help of the long-awaited change, the health officials are expected to be able to better track quality of care, spot early warning signs of a brewing outbreak or look for illness or injury trends.

The 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, ICD-10, includes codes that flag novel strains of flu, for instance, and even Ebola and its relatives. By increasing focus on sports concussions, the codes can also tell that for how long patients lost consciousness and if they require repeat care.

In a recent conference call, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told health providers that ICD-10 has the potential to create a number of improvements in the present public health system.

But as the deadline is approaching fast, he told the providers to ensure that their offices are all set, and that they should use Medicare-offered testing that allows an individual handle his billing file practice claims.

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