So, the transition to ICD-10 is going to require that providers complete some prep work—that is, if said providers want a successful transition. But it’s not all bad news. Come the mandatory transition date, there will be some pretty sweet benefits: “From proper observation and documentation to improved clinical documentation, progress notes, operative reports, and histories, the benefits of ICD-10 begin with enhanced clinical documentation enabling [providers] to better capture patient visit details and lead to better care coordination and health outcomes,” writes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Here are several more ways ICD-10 will benefit your practice (compiled from this CMS page and in this SuccessEHS article):

Clinical
  • Better documentation, collection, and evaluation of data leads to more informed clinical decisions.
  • Greater specificity, laterality, and detail of patient diagnoses allow providers to achieve new insights and identify new trends. This also improves our nation’s ability to report, track, and evaluate public health.
  • More accurate injury classifications provide better opportunities for research, trials, and studies. Plus, because most of the world is currently using ICD-10, we will be able to conduct comparative research with other countries.
Operational
  • More information collection allows for better patient-provider matching and improved (and more frequent) communication among providers.
  • Greater patient condition specificity enables administrators to make better decisions regarding capital investments to address practice needs.
  • Greater procedural specificity enables administrators to track time spent on specific procedures to better allocate resources.
Professional
  • More flexible code set allows for the introduction of new procedures and diagnoses.
  • Clearer objective data better supports credentialing and certification.
  • Greater measure specificity improves quality and efficiency reporting.
Financial
  • More thorough documentation of patient complexity and level of care supports reimbursement. Plus, the specificity of ICD-10 codes should provide payers with enough information to eliminate their need to request copies of medical records.
  • Greater diagnosis code specificity (supported by clinical documentation) may reduce audit risk exposure.
  • More objective data collection allows for peer-to-peer comparison and benchmarking.

How are you feeling about the transition to ICD-10? Do you see the benefits or are you bogged down with the prep work? Tell us where you’re at in the comments section below.

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