Friday, March 28, 2014

The October Surprise that Could Cripple the Practice of Medicine



"You won’t read about the International Classification of Disease (ICD) on TMZ or hear it discussed on The View, but it has the potential to be an unpleasant October surprise in the health care world.  It is a list of codes that physicians and hospitals use when billing insurance companies.  These codes cover all manner of medical diagnoses for diseases, conditions, and injuries.

The current version, the ICD-9, uses a 4- or 5-digit number to code for a particular disease, such as 540.9 for appendicitis.  The ICD-10 will have up to 7 alphanumeric characters to specify a condition, such as S52.521A for “torus fracture of lower end of right radius, initial encounter for closed fracture.”  And there are now over five times as many codes for doctors and hospitals to choose from.


medical practices and hospitals must know and have all of these 68 thousand codes readily available to add to the medical record in order to bill correctly and hope to be paid.  One more distraction for physicians, aside from all of the daily distractions of electronic records."


[American Thinker] 

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