ICD-10 Coding: Target These Areas To Boost Your ED Diagnosis Coding Transition

James Smith
December 14, 2012 — 1,192 views  
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From extreme epistasis to dolphin bites, specificity is all essential with ICD-10

Even though constant efforts are on the move to postpone this implementation, you must move forward supposing that the official startup on Oct. 1, 2013 will not be delayed. Read on for instructions on how ICD-10 will affect ED coding and tips for a smooth transition.

Review on Basic ICD-9, ICD-10 Differences

ICD-10-CM codes are the ones selected for use in documenting diagnoses. These codes are 3-7 characters long and over-all 68,000, whereas ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes are 3-5 digits long and number over 14,000. The ICD-10-PCS are essentially the procedure codes and these codes are alphanumeric, 7 characters long, and they are total about 87,000, while ICD-9-CM procedure codes are only 3-4 numbers in length and total about 4,000 codes.

The number of codes present in ICD-10 has increased considerably, and the reformatting of the number of characters per code and the demands for augmented code specificity need major planning, training, software/system upgrades/replacements. The move to ICD-10 impacts other medical coding and medical billing systems as well.

Get ED Physicians Ready for These Details

Even though the main impact with be on IT systems and medical coding professionals, the dramatic change in ICD-10 code descriptions will mean your physicians will require upgrading their documentation practices at all levels. Providers will be needed to look in a different way at how differential diagnoses, final diagnoses, operative notes, diagnostic interpretations and more are documented.

For a sneak peek at what's coming ED coding, compare these common ED diagnosis statements and the associated ICD-9 codes and ICD-10 codes:

Documentation pointer: You should not let the complexities of the new system challenge you. As so many conditions are pooled into one ICD-10 code where they were previously identified individually, you will see complex statements like those below bundled into one specific code:

Anatomy rules: Providers will be needed to provide a higher level of anatomical detail in notes and note conditions for instance "stabbing", "visible", "extreme" and a more definite and exact location of problem.

Coma Scale? Make certain you know it: Documentation of a Glasgow Coma Scale will be needed for coding a lot of neurologic complaints and will need that coders clearly comprehend how the Coma Score translates to conditions recognized for coding, (e.g. motor response, verbal response, eye opening). Expanding documentation "macros" as well as templates will be an important component of the transition to ICD-10.



James Smith