Billers and Coders to Gear up for ICD- 10 – Despite Physician Community Pushing the Deadline

ICD-10’s implementation on October 1, 2013, according to AAPC – will alter everything from the way health care providers document services to the way codes are selected, reported, and reimbursed, however it will be coders who will play a vital role to achieving success in ICD-10 implementation.

AAPC’s vice president of ICD-10 education stated that with the expected advantages of electronic health records (EHRs) aside, all eyes will turn to coders to make sense of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS, he further cautioned even the best coders in the industry need to increase their understanding of anatomy and pathophysiology (A&P). Further elaborating that specificity of ICD-10 codes is based on a precise identification of body sites and function; hence increasing coders’ knowledge of A&P would be necessary.

Reasoning with the Physician community: Medical Billing Services

With the pressure elevating in the physician community the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy of resisting the implementation of the ICD-10 during its semi-annual policy making session. Implementation of ICD-10 would increase physician burden immensely as practitioners are already clambering to implement electronic heath records, facing high reimbursement cuts while trying their best not to lose focus on their patients. In this scenario it is imperative for physicians to acquire services of proficient billers and coders for revenue maximization.

Challenges for Medical Billing – ICD-10 Transition

Adoption of ICD-10 will lead to expansion in the number of codes available for both describing diagnoses and procedures from the currently used ICD-9 codes.

Coders to prepare for the transition need to:

  • Learn the new coding system, which includes roughly 55,000 unfamiliar codes
  • Learn the new code books and styles, which are receiving complete overhauls
  • Use both ICD-10 and ICD-9 simultaneously for a period of roughly two years
  • Work with your office’s physician to go over the new documentation requirements
  • Thorough understanding of medical terminology and human anatomy, due to the increased specificity of ICD-10.

According to Director of coding and classification for the American Hospital Association failure to successfully implement ICD-10 could: Create coding and billing backlogs, cause cash flow delays, increase claims rejections/denials, bring about unintended shifts in payment and place payer contracts and/or market share arrangements at risk because of poor quality rating or high costs.

Gearing up for the change: turning point for Biller and Coders

Hence the importance of the right Billers and Coders in ICD-10 transition couldn’t be more elaborated, and whether or not physicians are able to at this point prepare for ICD-10, Billers and Coders need to gear up and start preparing for the change. Moreover as other healthcare reforms along with ICD-10 necessitates physicians need to prepare themselves to remain afloat, and with various physicians willing to invest into their practices – could be a turning point for Billers and Coders to expand their scope of work and opportunity.

Various physicians are already seeking services of medical billers who are proactive and prepared with material-requisites for ICD-10. is a viable option for physicians in smooth transition to ICD-10; moreover MBC is equipped with experienced Billers and Coders well-versed with HIPAA, ICD-10 and other compliances, and training themselves constantly as per the industry requirements, along with a long-standing reputation of being the largest consortium of medical billers in the U.S.