With the introduction of the ICD-10, which is the 10th revision of the World Health Organization’s classification system called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems, many medical professionals are having trouble making the adjustment to the new system after spending so long using the ICD-9 system.
With over 14,000 specific codes for all kinds of diagnoses and the ability to expand to over 16,000 codes in using sub-classification codes, it is easy to see how this system can be overwhelming. With various different musculoskeletal conditions fitted within the ICD-10, chiropractors are not exempt from this confusion.
While there are ample sources of education and training that are offered to bring medical professionals up to speed with this new coding process, there are still those that feel out in the dark and that they may take too long to figure out how the ICD-10 system works. As a result, they feel as if they need to take shortcuts and make adjustments to their coding process that could potentially result in serious problems for a practice down the road. If diagnoses are not coded correctly then medical records can be incorrectly altered and a patient will carry these records with them for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, insurance companies need to use these codes the process all of the conditions that patients have to keep for their own records so they have an understanding of what their patients are experiencing, what level of coverage that they are able to provide, what costs they can expect to incur, and much more. Chiropractic care professionals must use the ICD-10 system correctly as there is a precarious relationship between chiropractic care clinics and insurance providers in some cases.
Medical professionals can do things to help themselves learn the inner workings of the ICD-10 as well. Much like learning a new language, which the ICD-10 system is to an extent, professionals can develop a “cheat sheet” which contains some of the most useful features of the ICD-10 and some features that they may struggle with the most.
The ICD-10 is not just a new way to code diagnostics, but it forms the foundation of how diagnostic and treatment information is communicated across all international platforms. Thus, an in depth understanding of this system is vital.
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