March 19, 2014
The coding transformation from ICD 9 to ICD 10 is undoubtedly the biggest change that healthcare industry will be experiencing in 2014. While medical practitioners will now have to use a range of 155000 diagnosis and procedural codes, dental billers and coding practitioners are also going to face major challenges in terms of identification and assigning of correct codes. ICD 10 codes are not merely re-numbered ICD 9 codes but a completely new format and structure of codes. This in turn necessitates that each and every dental biller should be well equipped for this transition.
Preparing for claim denials and rejections
From October 1st, 2014; all claims filed electronically as well as via traditional format will be only accepted if compliant with ICD 10 codes. Claims with ICD 9 coding will be duly rejected by government and medical insurance carriers. Therefore, your primary billing focus will have to be on preparing your dental billing staff for greater rate of denials and improving TAT. As the no. of denials will pile up, the true test of your billing team would be to correct the inappropriate code and revert to the carriers with corrected claim documents within 48 hours of turnaround time. This would, therefore, include your billing and coding staff to be trained on ICD 9 and ICD 10 coding changes. As a dental practitioner, you can protect your financial viability and maintain your original claim settlement ratio by ensuring training of your billing staff in time.
Updating your EMR with new ICD 10 codes
Dental billers should also be trained to monitor the auto-code correction and automatic code updation that will take place in your EMR/EHR software, once the ICD 10 coding changes will be introduced in the healthcare industry. Most electronic medical recording set-ups will update your coding processes with ICD 10 changes at the point of initiation itself. The challenge here would be the system failing to recognize coding category changes and aligning it with the needs of your dental practice.
Coding structure and category change
Coding structure and categories are undergoing a complete overhaul in ICD 10. Coding digits and coding patterns will be completely changed in ICD 10. In addition combination codes and coding sub categories will be more specific. This would mean that with 57000 new diagnoses codes and 85000 new procedural codes, your current billing and coding expert will be at a loss for identifying the right code for a procedure with ICD 10 codes. Thus timely training can ensure that your dental billing and coding staff is prepared to handle the billing requirements and regulations post ICD 10 initiation in the healthcare industry.
ICD 10 coding changes are not only applicable for Medicare or Medicaid claim filing or electronic claim filing. Your dental billing and coding staff will need to remember that all medical records and patient records will henceforth have to adhere to ICD 10 codes completely.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com is a dental billing and coding expert that can help guide and assist the transition of your dental practice from ICD 9 to ICD 10 coding processes effortlessly.