5 Common ICD-10 Errors Hospital Coders Need to Avoid

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ICD-10 is round the corner, forcing hospitals and private practices to achieve compliance and reduce its impact on their revenue cycle. Experienced and certified coders are being hired to ensure that coding errors post ICD-10 implementation don't affect their timely reimbursements. The demand for well-trained coders has increased because providers don't want inaccurate coding to disrupt the cash flow.

It was found in a recent ICD-10 pilot project that the accuracy in ICD-10 coding varies on what is being coded. For instance, a C-section got coded accurately majority of times in a batch of codes; however, in the same batch, €pain in limb€ got coded accurately only 33% of the time due to lack of laterality and specificity.

Industry facts
The conversion to ICD-10 will cost the healthcare industry between $475 million and $1.5 billion over ten years due to staff training, change in systems and loss of productivity
As per a survey by Black Book, the number of hospitals outsourcing coding and clinical documentation services will grow before 2015 ICD-10 transition
Clinical documentation (vital for accurate ICD-10 coding) will be outsourced by 71% of hospitals by October 01, 2015
The Number of hospitals outsourcing coding services will also increase from 19% to 47% by 2015

ICD-10 Errors that Coders Need to Avoid

Recently, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange released a report on its ICD-10 national pilot program. Various errors were found in the transition to the new code set. Approximately 63% ICD-10 codes were accurate whereas few errors were more prevalent than other codes.

Here are five common ICD-10 errors that hospital coders need to avoid.

The number €0€ is often confused with the uppercase letter €O€
Number €1€ is confused with the lowercase letter €I€
Incomplete records or codes associated with wrong medical test case number
Most hospital coders rely on coding software rather than code books
Often specificity and laterality are left out of many codes

How can Hospitals Perform Well while Preparing for ICD-10?

Hospitals and private practices need to strengthen their organization and reap the benefits of ICD-10 by optimizing their revenue cycle. A streamlined revenue cycle will help them ensure better performance. Opportunities for improvement need to be identified in key indicators such as collection percentages, denial rates and days in AR.

Coders should Obtain Necessary Training for Smooth Transition

In order to obtain high-salaried jobs, the medical coders have been recommended to take a refresher course if their understanding or experience in the anatomy or physiology is not very strong. They should take up ICD-10 training courses so that they are prepared for the advanced specificity and requirements of clinical knowledge of the new coding system.

MedicalBillersandCoders.com is one of the leading medical billing companies in the US. It also offers ICD-10 training guide to help coders prepare for the transition. MBC's job portal, newsletters and industry updates can be accessed by coders to gain relevant industry knowledge and job assistance.
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