Taking the Pain Out of ICD-10 Through Electronic Charge Capture

ICD-9 coding from the late 1970s is getting a drastic facelift with the inevitability of ICD-10.

In the podcast, Dr. Ryan Secan, chief medical officer at MedAptus, a Boston, MA-based software developer offering Electronic Charge Capture, describes the expanded ICD-10 code set and how practices and hospitals can comfortably overcome the challenges that come with adoption.

Photo, Ryan Secan, MD, MPH

Dr. Ryan Secan practices Internal Medicine as a hospitalist at Emerson Hospital, in Concord, MA.

ICD-10 represents enhanced coding and billing for physicians and clinicians in the United States, set to go into effect in October 2014, but recently delayed until October 2015 by Congress. ICD-10 has been used in Europe and in other parts of the world since 1994.

Dr. Secan speaks from his experience about the value of using the ICD-10 diagnosis vocabulary. He shares his observations on the state of preparedness among practices and hospitals.

Again, technology comes to the rescue. Software exists that makes transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10 less of a burden. The software interface facilitates code look ups and provides interoperability within an electronic health or medical record system of any kind. A clinician can use a desktop or mobile device to access the patient’s record, during or after that patient’s visit or procedure.

Users no longer have to log in and out of various EHR /EMR systems to capture clinical documentation and complete billing at the same time.

Measurable efficiencies in saved physicians’ time, elimination of paper, accuracy and speed in submitting claims are benefits can be realized by small and group practices, by hospitals and health systems alike. The software “learns” and suggests codes that a physician frequently uses. Codes for an individual patient and his/her chronic conditions are remembered, ensuring more accurate record keeping and timely billing at the point of care.

With smaller, community hospitals in danger of closing, the implementation of Electronic Charge Capture within any EHR/EMR system can take a hospital from operating in the red to the black.

Dr. Secan cites examples of practices and hospitals that have realized a surge in otherwise-lost revenue and accelerated receivables: tens of thousands of dollars for small physician practices; hundreds of thousands of dollars for group practices; and millions of dollars for hospital and health systems.

10 Practical Ways to Prepare for ICD-10, by Ryan Secan, MD, MPH, published in February 2014, will be updated for readers in a future post that reflects CMS developments.

 Podcast 22 Minutes

Taking the Pain Out of ICD-10

Leave a Reply