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Impact of ICD-10 on Chiropractic Practices

February 23, 2015

ICD-10 will impact the financial, clinical and operational efficiency of chiropractic practices. It will change the way chiropractic billers code for reimbursement. With the approaching compliance deadline (October 01, 2015), it has become necessary for the providers to up their game and enjoy the benefits of the new coding system. It will help them in correct reporting, documentation and accurate revenue generation.

A total of around 200 codes used by chiropractors will be affected by the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Coding will require diagnosis hierarchy and specificity of laterality, where applicable. This will turn the diagnosis into a combination code which is not available in the existing coding system.

Here are some of the ICD-10 changes that will affect chiropractors:

Medical practices should use the modifier codes only when they are relevant and backed up by specific information within the patient’s record. Here are some of the modifier types:

  • All the diagnosis codes being used by Chiropractors currently will be changed with ICD-10. Even the 739 and 839 subluxations will change
  • The documentation responsibilities will increase for chiropractors pushing them to invest more time in paperwork and less on patient care. Specificity of ICD-10 will change the documentation needs. If it doesn’t contain the required level of specificity, insurance payers will deny payment for the rendered services
  • The in-house coders and billers will need extensive knowledge about medical terminologies and anatomy. Doctors as well as the support staff need to be trained in using the new coding system because billing, coding and documentation of the rendered services will be intertwined in ICD-10
  • Chiropractors won’t need most of the 155,000 codes in ICD-10; however, the implementation of the new coding system will affect their PQRS or disease management protocols
  • HIPAA privacy policies signed by the patients will have to be revised and any policy or procedure tied to the diagnosis codes might prove challenging for the office manager at chiropractic offices

This new coding system will also increase the workload for chiropractors. The ICD-9 has certain limitations but ICD-10 will offer more specific codes for chiropractors for diagnosing patients. If done correctly, the practice will be able to increase revenue and reduce the claim denials. According to the industry experts, medical specialties including chiropractic should be ready to prepare and adapt ICD-10 because it will offer the ability to code in greater detail.

How can Chiropractors Prepare for ICD-10?

A toolkit has been issued by the American Chiropractic Association to provide downloadable, detailed resources for chiropractors and help them carry out a smooth transition. It includes an ICD-10 Mapping Tool for simplifying the conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10. This tool is developed in co-ordination with the American Academy of Professional Coders and it uses a three-step procedure for ensuring accuracy, and it also provides code selection tips.

An increasing number of providers are outsourcing chiropractic billing to a third party. Small practices lack a team of certified and experienced coders who are trained in handling chiropractic medical coding for ICD-10.

MedicalBillersandCoders.com is one such medical billing service provider that has an expert and well-trained team for planning, testing and implementing the ICD-10 compliant documentation. Their dedicated specialty team provides coding and billing services specially meant for chiropractors. By outsourcing medical billing and other RCM services, practices can be assured of timely payments and increased practice earnings.


Category : ICD-10 Coding