ICD-9 vs ICD-10: What the Changes Mean to Medical Practitioners

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s International Classification of Diseases has served the healthcare community for over a century. The United States has just transitioned to the latest version with a final compliance date of October 1, 2015. The system used diagnosis codes to represent case histories physicians use to diagnose and to deliver patient care. These codes are primarily used to create case histories and to submit to health insurers to receive payment for services rendered.

Recently the government has changed the regulation codes that physicians must use when submitting their invoices to insurances companies for payment. For over 40 years the ICD-9 coding system was the standard that every medical practitioner followed. Whereas the field of medicine has constantly evolved, the system was limited and dated. It did not have codes for many procedures or diagnoses that have come about due to new technologies and treatments. ICD-10 is a scalable system that will accommodate new procedures as they develop and new illnesses as these emerge.

For the benefit of our many medical practitioners who consider National Business Capital their financial partner, we present a brief overview of the changes from ICD-9 vs ICD-10.

ICD-9 vs ICD-10 Differences

  • ICD-9 had about 13,000 different codes. ICD-10 has 68,000.
  • This means that diagnoses can be more specific and related diagnoses can be bundled under one code.
  • ICD-9 was static and did not have codes for new medical advances, diagnoses, treatments, or procedures.
  • ICD-10 is scalable and will expand to accommodate new medical advances.
  • ICD-9 codes were numeric; ICD-10 codes are alphanumeric which allows practitioners to be much more specific.
  • ICD-10 uses current medical terminology.
  • ICD-10 has combination codes making it possible to code multiple diagnoses under one entry.

It seems as though the ICD-10 rollout has been long overdue. It not only intended to update and speed invoicing, but also to provide sufficient data to make payers’ decisions faster and easier as well. It may, in time, shorten the deposit of funds into medical practitioner’s accounts.

These efficiencies of scale do not come without initial cost, however. The largest local practitioner, a 14-hospital system headquartered on Long Island, NY, expects to pay $50 million or more for IT, training and other upgrades. Costs are likely to be borne, at least in part, by medical practitioners associated with this giant healthcare system. And for those in private practice, the cost to upgrade equipment and to train their staff is also a major consideration.

For these and every medical practice requirement, many physicians have turned to National Business Capital for small business loans and other funding options. National Business Capital understands that equipment and staffing upgrades are requisites that must be funded as quickly as possible. Traditional lending sources can take months to provide funding. We approve over 90% of the applications we receive. At National Business Capital an outstanding tax lien or even less than perfect credit are not immediate disqualifications. Best of all, the monies are deposited into physicians’ accounts within days, not weeks or months.

If the recent ICD-9 vs ICD-10 upgrades have your practice seeking working capital or for any other business funding need, call National Business Capital. We welcome your call at (888) 888-9124 and the opportunity to establish a solid financial relationship with us. Call today!

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