It is clear that because the new code categories are so much more precise and the options so much more numerous than in the old generic code system, translation from old to new regarding any particular diagnosis, treatment or procedure will require the input of human analysis. It is a mistake to think it will be possible to use a software system to translate an old code into the new. The utility of translation software will be limited.
In sum, conversion to ICD-10 will provide a more precise billing and payment system and also serve as a mechanism by which to gain more in-depth insight into patient care and improve medical treatment. But implement as required by law is a major undertaking.
The sooner implementation begins the better the outcome will be, and cannot be delayed much longer. Time is running out for assessment, planning and implementation in order to complete the process by the new deadlines.
Marybeth Regan, PhD, is an expert in disease and care management as they apply for Health Information Management. She has written numerous articles on strategies for care and disease management. She may be reached at Drmarybethregan@aol.com.
Beverly Mann is a freelance editor. She can be reached at BeverlyMann2@yahoo.com.