Is Dual Coding Practical for ICD-10?

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TL;DR
The U.S. House of Representatives will decide to extend after the ICD-10 deadline whether or not dual coding will be allowed for a period of six months. Many experts agree that dual coding is inefficient and the switch to ICD-10 codes should be enforced.


Dual Coding a Legitimate Solution?

Last week, a bill proposing dual coding for six months after the ICD-10 deadline was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. A recent article on HealthITAnalytics.com discussed why dual coding might not be a very realistic solution.

It could actually end up making the situation more difficult for providers and payers. The article emphasized that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already stated that their systems cannot accept both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes together. “Many providers and payers, including Medicare have already coded their systems to only allow ICD-10 codes beginning October 1, 2015.”

If the dual coding bill passes, payers will be forced to readjust their systems, which, not only will be costly, but also most likely will not happen in time for the deadline. The article goes on to say that, for those against ICD-10, this would be a favorable outcome, as it could potentially lead to yet another delay in implementation.

However, many agree that dual coding is simply inefficient and will only suspend the progress the industry is striving to achieve.

The fears surrounding ICD-10 have mostly already been addressed. CMS recently announced that for one year after ICD-10 implementation, claims will not be denied based solely on the specificity of the codes. A February 2015 survey in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association showed that the costs associated with ICD-10 implementation would probably be less than expected.

The fate of ICD-10 will become clear in the coming weeks; however, providers should be prepared now.

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PrognoCIS EMR is already ICD-10 compliant and prepared for users. With a simple two-step process, users can click on the ICD-9 code in the PrognoCIS interface, quickly find the correlating ICD-10 code, and easily populate it into the patient chart. If an ICD-10 code is not filled in, the software will prompt users to add them in with an alert. All lab & radiology tests, as well as e-prescriptions, will include ICD-10 codes. To learn more about our ICD-10 solution, visit our ICD-10 Hub or click here to schedule a live demonstration with one of our experts: PrognoCIS Demo.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

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