Learning, preparing, and changing to the new ICD-10 code set will undoubtedly be a lot of work for a lot of people, but it will be worth it! Once the hard work is done, and the ICD-10 code set and providers have made it through the storm, we can expect to see long lasting and far-reaching benefits across the healthcare community including providers, payers, policy setters, researchers, IT vendors, and most importantly patients.

As the technology sector continues to innovate and spread through more aspects of society, it has to be noted that generating, collecting, and analyzing meaningful data has become a vital aspect of technology use. The amazing increase in codes available to the healthcare community with ICD-10 will allow our industry to leverage data analytics and improve nearly every aspect of the healthcare delivery system. We will be able to evaluate all of our programs more easily and make the adaptations our industry needs to create and maintain a more effective system that, at the end of the day, will result in improvements in patient care.

Providers can expect to see more accurate reimbursements! The vagueness and ambiguity of the ICD-9 code set has de nitely resulted in some dif culties with claim creation. The ICD-10 system is built on a platform and logic that is better suited to create an effective payment system. Delivering more speci city in the code sets may result in better justi cation of medical necessity. In the ICD-9 code set some conditions that support medical necessity are classi ed with the same codes as those that do not, creating inef ciency and dif culty for the provider and the patient. With the greater detail of the ICD-10 code set, these conditions will be classi ed appropriately to support medical necessity and allow providers and patients to provide and receive appropriate care. Additionally, the detail of the ICD-10 code set may be able to identify more unique medical services that use new technology so that providers can bill for them more accurately. While at rst, it may seem like a lot of work to learn the new code set, once it is implemented, it is expected that the use of ICD-10 will result in less coding errors because the set is less ambiguous, more detailed, and better organized than previous code-sets. Once we are all under way using ICD-10 we can expect to see more detailed reimbursements and less coding errors. ICD-10 is a claims-friendly code set!

The greater detail of ICD-10 will also enable the healthcare community to deliver better patient care, which is ultimately the primary goal of our community. With a greater capacity for data analytics, the industry will be able to measure the quality of healthcare delivered more effectively. The enhanced analytics will enable agencies to create better policies, standards, procedures, and structures. Our community, working as a uid and cohesive unit, will ensure that patients can expect and receive improved care.

The United States will be joining other nations in adopting the ICD-10 code set. This will provide for improved healthcare analytics at a global level. Our community’s resources will now have meaningful data to expand so that we can join the global healthcare community and take advantage of the available information by investigating universal healthcare data. Increasing the data pool will enable our healthcare system to stay informed and aware of major healthcare trends and provide our healthcare system a de nitive boost in intelligence far beyond our nation’s geographic boundaries

While the change to ICD-10 will be a lot of work, we will all see the bene ts of adopting a more current, comprehensive, and functional code set. Improving the intelligence of providers, payers, researchers, IT vendors, policy makers, and everyone else in the healthcare delivery system will improve nearly every aspect of our healthcare model. So when you are putting in the hours to learn and plan for the change to ICD-10, remember the bright side: our healthcare delivery system will improve.

The ICD-10 code set will help the research community, where data truly is king. The increased amount of actionable data provided by ICD-10 will enable researchers to nd better correlations between medical conditions and their causes, treatments, and end results: researchers will be able to create better, more effective treatments.

For more information on ICD-10 check out CMS’s page here.