What?!? Changing to ICD-10 will rock? Actually, it will, because it allows you as a provider to do some really amazing things with your documentation.
CMS is responsible for the regulations surrounding the diagnosis and treatment coding. The diagnosis codes are captured in the International Classification of Disease or ICD. The tenth edition (ICD-10) replaces the ninth edition (ICD-9) which has been in use since 1979.
ICD-10 was created for three main reasons:
- Definition Changes
- Terminology differences
- Increased specificity
So much has happened since the Seventies. For one, I don’t wear bell bottoms when I go out nor do I wear a headband and short shorts when I workout. And believe it, definitions of diseases have changed since the Seventies.
ICD-10 captures new and updated definitions of disease classifications. This is important to understand what you are diagnosing when you code. Definition Changes allow you to be more specific in your coding.
Here’s a big one for all of us that work in the physical medicine side of things. Let’s start with “Mainstream.” Chiropractors were not considered mainstream at all in the 1970’s and in fact, chiropractors were highly discriminated against. In the 80’s and 90’s they were “Alternative,” and now, Chiropractors are part of the Complementary Health Group.
So simple terms that applied to groups in the 1970’s do not apply now so this is a big step to help represent what many of us do on a daily basis.
It’s also a big step so other providers can understand how and what we diagnose when we use the right terminology.
This change captures more specificity when diagnosing diseases and injuries including episode of care, acuity, injury site, etiology, place of occurrence, complications, intent and status.
CMS states that “over 1/3 of the expansion of ICD-10 codes is due to the addition of laterality (left, right, bilateral).”
As a doctor or medical provider, these changes should be incredibly important to you and we are embracing these changes because it makes diagnosing your patients more specific and more accurate. This helps protect you as a provider, and protects the patient by giving them the right diagnosis.
“C5 facet joint sprain on the right that occurred today” is way more specific and accurate than using the term “cervical spine subluxation” to describe an injury. As you can see, other providers, insurance companies, and your patients can understand what, how, and why you are treating just based on diagnosing right.
ICD-10 Free Conversion Tool
We’ve created a completely free tool for you to use. It looks up codes both ICD 9 and 10 codes, and will convert your ICD-9 codes to ICD-10.
Remember though that ICD-10 needs to be specific, so use the most specific code there to identify the disease.
One reason we created the ICD-9 to ICD-10 Converter tool was so that our customers at ChiroPractice Pro could improve their documentation skills. We want you to be as educated in this process as possible so implementation is easy and not burdensome.
Click below to access our ICD-10 Conversion Tool: