Thursday & Friday this week I spent the day at The Sheraton Hotel in Fort Worth attending the American Academy of Professional Coders Boot Camp on ICD10. Class was 10 hours each day. Breakfast and beverages all day were included.
I had toyed with staying at the hotel to sort of get a break and when it got moved from Dallas to the Fort Worth location, I opted to save the money (its not a cheap hotel) and stay at home, I am not that far.
I have been in the healthcare industry for 17 years (it will be 18 years in March). The last few years, our industry has gone through some major overhauls. We have another one coming up. ICD10. You ask what is ICD10? I will try to explain in simplistic terms.
ICD9 is the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, version 9. This is the diagnosis code that gets attached to your medical record and billed on the claim sent to your insurance carrier with each code and each service that is rendered to you.
So that means that ICD10 is the 10th version. No big deal.
We currently have approximately 13,000 codes in the ICD10 version. We will have approximately 87,000 available codes (currently there are approximately 75,000 in the draft version with the final version to be published this year).
That alone is a big deal.
The reason ICD10 is an even bigger deal is that the whole medical billing and coding concepts relating to the specificity of your condition is changing. There has been a proposed change to version 9 for at least 2 years (though it was actually initially started with development in 1992). The reason is that the medical industry wants to track health statistics and be better at understanding why some diseases and conditions affect certain part of the population. This will allow them to do this.
The caveat? It will require providers to be explicit, VERY explicit as to the nature of your condition, how it occurred (this has been attached to your medical record but never apart of your diagnosis), what exactly you were doing, where you live or what type of public place, what you do for an occupation, whether the incident was paid or unpaid (were you at work - a volunteer - was this for pleasure), the severity of symptoms or condition, the laterality (beyond just a right or left limb - it now applies to all parts of the body), etc.
You think I am joking? I am not. I am beyond joking. I won't bore you with more details of this, but let me suffice to say that an industry that has been pretty straight forward, though yes very complicated with certain aspects, will be changing this year, effective October 1, 2014 and will be thoroughly complicated on so many levels.
The two day AAPC Boot Camp Class was to educate us on the changes from ICD9 to ICD10, review the new look up strategy in our coding books, review the criteria required for these codes, and we did 23 tests and 32 case studies.
Even for someone who loves research and a challenge, my brain is mush.