Conversion To New Government Codes For Healthcare Providers Could Spark More Confusion

Gene Marcial | Forbes | June 25, 2013

If you think the issue of healthcare is already a big source of confusion, wait till medical providers try to divine the new diagnostic “codes” the government has prescribed to describe diseases and hospital procedures for insurance companies to pay the costs involved. These codes may turn out to be more complex than the Da Vinci Code. 

Here’s the problem: Most of the healthcare providers and vendors have yet to understand and fully prepare for the new “ICD-10 Codes.” What’s ICD-10? It is comprised of about 140,000 new codes that will replace the existing ICD-9 codes, which the gods have decided aren’t clearly or fully defining, or explaining medical conditions and hospital procedures — as opposed to ICD-10, which aims to accomplish all that. 

In other words, the government architects of the new coding system believe ICD-10 will speed up payment of claims and reduce delays caused largely by requests by the healthcare providers and vendors for more specific information. But the crux of the problem is how to cope with and understand the huge number of new codes in time to meet the deadline.