Six Key Differences Between ICD-9 and ICD-10

April 3, 2015

The changes in the new ICD-10 coding system will help you do your job better. Here are some changes you'll be happy to meet.

If you've been preparing for implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system (You have been, right? Of course you have.) then you know that the new codes are very different from the ICD-9 codes. It's not just a matter of a new numbering system. It is, as CMS puts it, "a leap in how we define care."If getting ready to take that leap has been driving you batty, you can take heart in knowing that the changes will ultimately benefit you as a physician, not only in helping you provide better documentation, but in getting paid for what you do.Proper documentation with ICD-10 can actually lead to fewer denials, according to Jackie Stack, director of ICD-10 education and training for the AAPC."ICD-10's more specific codes can help you justify your clinical decision-making to the payer," she said. "Say a patient with well-controlled asthma comes in for a refill of her medication, but she's having a few problems. ICD-10 gives you a level of specificity that can justify a level-three or level-four visit, where the old code, 'asthma, unspecified,' might be refused or queried."So take a look at a few of highlights of how ICD-10 differs from, and improves upon, its predecessor; it may make the whole project seem a little more worthwhile.To view the slides in PDF format, click here.