Is Your Laboratory Ready for ICD-10?

ICD-10 Will you be ready?

PennySue Orr – CPC

With the October 1, 2014 implementation date less then a year away, will you be prepared?

Laboratory Billing Solutions (LBS) has been working diligently to ensure that all of interfaces, order entry and claims submission processes will accommodate the new ICD-10 format as well as cope with claims submitted after the switch that dates of service prior to October 1, 2014.

To help your laboratory and associated practices prepare here are a couple questions for you to consider.

  • Where within your laboratory are you using ICD-9 codes currently?  Anywhere from patient charts, laboratory requisitions, prescriptions, and even the EHR system. Any place a current ICD-9 code is used will need to be updated to accommodate ICD-10
  • How will your laboratory and/or practices code for ICD-10? If you currently code by looking up in the ICD-9 book, the ICD-10 2014 books will be available in early 2014.  Does your laboratory or practices have a certified coder(s)? If so, has he/she taken any seminars to learn the new code set and guidelines? If the coder belongs to the AAPC, has he/she passed the proficiency assessment?

As with any change the inevitable question arises “How is this going to be a benefit?”  Per the World Health Organization (WHO) here are some of the benefits:

  • There will be better data available for measuring the quality of care, conducting research and clinical trials, monitoring resource utilization, and tracking public health risks.
  • Recognition of advances in medicine and technology, and improve efficiencies leading to lower costs.

While coders can look up codes in the same manner as ICD-9, there are some differences to the chapters.  ICD-10 has expanded detail, specificity and laterality. Where coders may have had only one choice in ICD-9, ICD-10 offers multiple codes bringing the diagnosis to its highest level possible. Coder will be dependent on the specific documentation from the health care provider in order to code to the highest level

STRUCTURE COMPARISON

ICD-9-CM ICD-10-CM
3-5 Characters 3-7 Characters
First character is either numeric or alpha (E or V) 1st character is alpha (all letters except U are used)  2nd character is numeric
Characters 2-5 are numeric Characters 3-7 are alpha or numeric
Always at least 3 characters Use of decimal after 3rd character
Use of decimal after 3rd character Alpha characters are NOT case sensitive

LBS understands that this will be a disruptive switch for all parties.  However, as a billing provider, LBS’ software and operations ICD-10 enhancements are prepared to make the switch as undisruptive as possible.

To learn more about how LBS can help your lab and your lab’s billing department manage the transition to ICD-10 contact us here or call us at 603-766-8230.

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