Medical Coding Changing After 30 Years

codingMedical coding involves translating clinical information into standard codes which are the basis for reimbursement, billing, quality monitoring and more. On October 1, 2014, the healthcare system in the U.S. will adopt a new medical coding system, ICD-10, which stands for International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision.

The current classification system, ICD-9, has been in place for more than 30 years and can’t keep pace with the rapid growth in medical procedures, technologies, and new models for reimbursement. ICD-10 codes will capture more information, in greater detail, offering the basis needed to help advance patient care, disease management, and medical research. While clinicians, Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) specialists, medical coders, and technology systems are most directly affected by the transition, the impact is far-reaching and will require significant planning, training, software/system upgrades, as well as other necessary investments.

We want all colleagues to have a general awareness of what’s involved with the transition and understand how to be prepared to help reach compliance by October 1, 2014. Key areas that we are actively addressing for the ICD-10 change include:

-Internal HCA-supported systems are being modified and discussions with our third-party vendors are in process to ensure our systems will be ready to accommodate ICD-10.
-We are continually identifying and testing select systems to support the transition, including those systems used between HCA and our trading partners.

-Our communication and educational resources are working across all internal lines of business to plan ICD-10 awareness and job-specific training for HCA and its affiliates.
-In 2013, our focus will be to ensure individuals involved in initial transition work have the education, tools, and resources they need and that we are positioned to deliver general awareness and line of business specific education and communication in 2014.

•Continuous Impact Assessments
-Our ICD-10 teams will continue to evaluate and initiate solutions to address the transition to ICD-10 and its corresponding impact on policies, procedures, and business processes.

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