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ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM: Some Differences and Similarities

CMS is stating they expect 10% of all claims submitted to be denied with ICD-10 initially. Selecting and assigning accurate diagnoses in the proper sequence must be performed in compliance with Medicare rules and regulations, Coding Conventions and Coding Guidelines. That remains the same.

The accuracy of this information contained in the clinical record is directly tied to payment and to justification for homecare services, so understanding how to select and assign accurate diagnoses is very important. This is the same but the specificity of the documentation becomes very very important. Increased specificity in data means more robust design of algorithms to predict outcomes and care by MACS, RACs, and Z-PICs.

ICD-10-CM presents an even greater challenge for documentation by the clinician. The word “documentation” is stated 72 times in the ICD-10-CM guidelines document.  Querying for additional information is noted 23 times in the same document. The instructions and conventions of the classification take precedence over guidelines which requires a keen understanding of the conventions.

ICD-10 requirements have raised the documentation expectations. Have your clinicians had an overview of ICD-10-CM? Here are just some observations.

Agency clinicians are expected to understand the patient’s clinical status and overall medical condition very well before approving/assigning diagnoses, so the comprehensive assessment must be ­completed in its entirety prior to the diagnoses decision. All coders should be properly educated on ICD-10-CM including how to use coding manuals properly. 50 + hours are being identified as necessary for each coding specialist to be properly prepared for ICD-10.

Your agency’s integrity and financial health could well depend on your preparation for ICD-10. Selecting and assigning accurate diagnoses must be performed in compliance with Medicare rules and regulations, in addition to ICD-10-CM coding guidelines.

You have choices; either prepare VERY VERY well for ICD-10 or consider third party experts for coding and remove that burden and concern.

Consider joining Susan Carmichael for a general overview of ICD-10CM Coding on May 7, 2013. Check the Select Data website for more details.

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