ICD-10 Myth Busters
By Lee Ann Bryant, Associate Product Manager, HealthStream
The impending shift to ICD-10 comes with many challenges as well as opportunities. The old adage "don't believe everything you hear" certainly stands true as we rapidly approach what has come to be seen as a healthcare phenomenon. While a successful transition does require a tremendous amount of education and training, our focus should remain on the benefits to both the employee as well as the organization.
In a recent article, Thomas Ormondroyd of Precyse Learning Solutions has debunked some of the most prevalent "myths" associated with ICD-10 that ultimately have led to a lack of enthusiasm around its implementation.
Myth #1: The increase in documentation required by ICD-10 will involve a huge amount of added content to the medical record.
Reality: In most cases, ICD-10 will require just a few more words per condition documented.
The good news is that physicians already know this information as part of the clinical story based on their encounters with the patient or the encounters reported to them by ancillary departments - all they need to do is make sure that they actually document this information. And physicians may already be aware of the new terminology required due to changes in clinical practice. A good example of this is asthma. Physicians already should be using clinical criteria to establish the stage of the asthma; ICD-10 now allows documenting and coding of these stages.
Myth #2: All codes in ICD-10-CM will be complex, seven-character codes.
Reality: There are three-character codes in ICD-10-CM, and the most common code length is four characters; therefore, in many cases, the ICD-10-CM code actually will be shorter than its ICD-9-CM counterpart.
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