Even though some healthcare providers might still be feeling reluctant about switching over to ICD-10 coding because of the costs, training and delays they could endure during the transition, a recent study suggests doctors can gain valuable insights into patients’ health once they deploy the updated platform. A report just released from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy discovered a gap in coding had been inaccurately accounting for falls as a cause of death among the elderly.
Before ICD-10 was implemented, the rate of incident was 42 percent lower between 1999 and 2007. One subcategory of accidental falls among those over 65 years of age even surged an astounding 698 percent once ICD-10 was adopted. However, the researchers found the number of deaths was not on the rise, but rather the previous coding system didn’t properly account for deaths caused by a fall.
As physicians adopt the health IT tool, they might find they are able to harness data from the additional diagnosis and procedure codes and turn those findings into actionable insight that can improve patient care. In addition, more accurate coding will help reduce the likelihood of claims being rejected and increase the amount of reimbursements a practice receives.
Improving quality of care
ICD-10 offers healthcare providers a distinct advantage over ICD-9 coding – more data, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.
“Where the healthcare market as a whole is headed is about data and interoperability. Having better collection of data is really key,” said Mike Rosenfeld, a solution analyst told the source. “In the long run, the more thorough documentation will ultimately improve efficiency.”
Rosenfield challenges practitioners to get out of their comfort zones, the source reports. Despite the push for health IT adoption across the industry, a significant portion of doctors have yet to relinquish their paper charts and outdated coding methods in favor of updated systems that will provide better patient care and interoperability across medical fields.
“Having better data can open up a lot of opportunities to improve performance on a number of fronts such as clinical outcomes, evidence-based medicine, [etc.],” Rosenfeld added, as quoted by the source.
Ultimately, doctors might find that despite the upfront investment costs, the systems could improve their practices’ bottom line. Better coding systems that provide more accurate information about diagnoses and treatments could reduce delays in paperwork processing, prevent denials and rejections as well as increasing the likelihood of full reimbursement, according to Healthcare Finance News.