Decoding ICD–10

ICD - 10, the tenth revision of International Classification of Disease (ICD) and a successor of ICD - 9 is a system of coding created by the World Health Organization that organizes and codes health information that includes diseases, symptoms, abnormal findi ngs, injuries, external causes of diseases and deaths. This information is used further for health statistics, epidemiology, health care management, allocation of resources, monitoring and evaluation, research, primary care, prevention and treatment.

ICD - 10 coding provides the detailed analysis of the general health situation of populations of different countries and monitors the prevalence of diseases and other health problems. This analysis goes through different stages of scrutiny and finally report ed, categorized and presented for important decision - making. ICD - 10 is divided into two systems:

ICD - 10 - CM : (Clinical Modification) for diagnostic coding
ICD - 10 - PCS: (Procedure Coding System) for inpatient hospital procedure coding
In the US, the initial date of complying ICD - 10 system was set on October 1, 2013, which was later changed to October 1, 2015 because of the agitation among providers for adopting ICD - 10 system. The US is the only developed nation that is lagging behind as compared to the rest of th e world in using this most up - to - date system. Software companies seem to be ready for ICD - 10, and insurance companies are next in line. However, providers are still wondering as how to make the transition from ICD - 9 to ICD - 10.The purpose of this whitepape r is to bring to view the importance of the ICD - 10 transition testing and other components related to ICD - 10 testing.
Transition from ICD - 9 to ICD - 10 : An Important Step

ICD coding is important for health organizations and providers around the globe to compare and share health related data in a standard ized form . ICD is being revised to better reflect progress in health sciences and medical practice and compels the providers to adopt and implement t his advanced coding system.

There are two main reasons that make transition to ICD - 10 necessary:

First , p ayers face difficulty in paying claims using ICD - 9 because the system lacks advanced technological requirements and medical treatment. The limitations in ICD - 9 directly affect the diagnosis - related groups (DRG), a prospective reimbursement system to determine how much Medicare sponsors the hospital for each "product".

Second , the current ICD - 9 system does not give a clear picture of quality of care to healthcare industry. It is difficult for healthcare providers to assess the outcome s of latest procedures and existing health care conditions in the absence of precise codes.

Consequently , in order t o improve the productivity of providers, enhance quality health ca re services to patients, enhance clinical decision - making, track public health issues, conduct medical research, identify fraud & abuse and design payment systems to ensure services are appropriately paid, implementation of ICD - 10 system has becom e mandatory for the providers.

Over 25 countries have already adopted ICD - 10 to classify diseases and related health problems because of the many benefits it provides , such as:

Reimbursement – ICD - 10 enhance s accurate coding & payment for services rendere d
Quality – ICD - 10 improve s the qu ality of care and documentation
Precision – ICD - 10 is specific enough to identify diagnoses & procedures precisely
Testing: The Success Factor for ICD - 10 Transition

ICD - 10 transition is a very complex and lengthy risk assessment process where t he number of diagnosis codes in ICD - 9 is 14,000 while it increases up to 68,000 in ICD - 10 , with procedure codes increasing from about 4,000 in ICD - 9 to 87,000 in ICD - 10 . In addition to that, ICD - 10 introduces alpha numeric category classification , which gives the users more clarity and precision in coded patient data . Hence, t o achieve accurate coding and billing , and to reduce the risk of claims and coding errors, the transition requires a s ignificant testing because it is a risk - mitigating program that ensures if the system is working accurately.

Claims and coding errors occur for two general but different reasons:

Absence of i nformation or inconsistent information about the cl aim; or
Indicated diagnosis & procedural codes are inappropriate for the type & level of care
There are 3 key steps to mitigate the claims & coding errors from inappropriate or incorrect ICD - 10 codes:

Step 1: P roviders should invest in training and certification programs of ICD - 10 imp lementation for medical coding staff, CMOs and other healthcare professionals who will assign or evaluate ICD diagnosis and procedure codes.

Step 2: P roviders should assess the interconnection between the current ICD - 9 codes and the clinically equivalent I CD - 10 codes to be implemented . In the area of Mobile Application Development, Saviance’s Center of Excellence offers its services in Enterprise Mobility where the company provides cutting edge smart phone device technology to our clients. Saviance has expertise in all popular mobile platforms such as, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Embedded CE, Embedded Linux, Mac X, and Symbian.

Step 3: Providers should conduct an extensive testing to validate the compatibility of ICD - 10 code usage of both payers and providers . It should be in sync with clinical accuracy and medical policy regarding benefits and treatment coverage.

The failure to successfully implement ICD - 10 could create coding and billing backlogs, cash flow delays, increase the claims rejections/denials, lead to discrepancies in paym ent and payer contracts . Inaccuracy in clinical coding creates distorted or misinterpreted information about patient care, which also results in faulty investment decisions.

The Key Areas of ICD - 10 Testing

Testing plays a critical role in ICD - 10 remediation because of the implication of the codes that are used in both clinical and business processes, and to ensure that the transition does not harm clinical decisions, financial or operational processes . The transition to ICD - 10 will affect a reas such as clinical documentation and coding, revenue, payments, productivity, claims adjudication, reporting mechanisms, decision and analytical systems, customer service delivery, care quality, provider networks, and government policies. Thus, followin g areas need a significant testing:

DRGs and reimbursements
Clinical documentation readiness
Coder proficiency
Patient access readiness
Payer contracts

Challenges involved with ICD - 10 Testing

The implementation of ICD - 10 system causes a substantial revamping of the co mplete IT infrastructure of a healthcare setup that supports cross - functional activities. Here, testing plays a crucial role in ICD 10 transition but may prove to be complex for the providers due to the challe nges summarized as :

Existing Challenges

Complexities inherent in system
Mixed technology across the system
Configuration and releases
Requiring testing of a large infrastructure comprising all business processes
Provisional challenges

Lack of resources to test large volumes of data of different business processes , making a transition from ICD - 9 to ICD - 10
Key business scenario to be created and validated across multiple functional areas
Requirement of a financially focused evaluation of high impact ICD - 10 co des
Most organizations find it infeasible to do end - to end testing with all their business partners in the chain (providers, payers, vendor systems, int ermediaries and clearinghouses)
Framework of ICD-10 Testing

ICD 10 testing is a very lengthy and a complex proposition. A comprehensive ICD-10 testing framework requires multiple types of testing at different stages with different complexities. Testing is divided into two broad categories-internal and external testing.

External testing is crucial for providers according to the new regulatory requirement under the Affordable Care Act’s Operating Rules that outlines payer-provider testing. This kind of testing occurs on front-end as well as back end system. It requires compatibility between providers and payers usage of ICD-10 codes to make it successful.

Healthcare organizations consider following key points while undergoing external testing:

Prioritize external partners for testing based on business requirement
Establish significant testing strategies and approaches
Develop clear testing scenarios and test cases together
Develop open communication among all functional areas
Collaborate on issue resolution process that works for cross functional areas

However, internal testing makes a foundation for a successful ICD 10 transition because when internal systems function effectively, the organization will be able to make a smooth transition. It is divided into two main types:

Traditional IT system code testing; and
Business readiness testing
Need for a Collaborative Testing program

The Massachusetts Health Data Consortium has announced the launch of ICD-10 Collaborative Testing Program for many of the state’s health plans and provider organizations. It is introduced to reduce the significant time, costs and risks associated with ICD-10 compliance for the state’s health care industry. It will help respondents to address the potential issues and provide a structured, effective, and low-cost ICD-10 testing solution to the state’s healthcare payers and providers.

Saviance enables you to meet the Testing Challenge

To achieve neutrality and progress in the ICD-10 transition, Saviance follows the Six Key Strategies:

Adopt a more streamlined and strategic approach to managing test data
Focus business readiness testing on the highest-risk scenarios
Ensure business experts are heavily involved
Represent the organization’s actual business ecosystem
Invest the effort up front to set up the test environment correctly
Automate test result analysis to accommodate the sheer volume of testing required

The foundation for a successful ICD-10 Testing, however, is based on internal testing. When internal systems are working as expected then only business processes will yield results. This implies that the organization once done with its internal testing should look ahead for external testing. ICD-10 involves two distinct types of internal testing - the traditional IT System Code Testing and Business Readiness Testing. The latter is crucial for organizations that are looking forward to achieve their neutrality goal.

Team ICD 10 at Saviance works on the identification of relevant ICD codes for optimizing test coverage, including maximum usage, maximum reimbursement, etc. We facilitate ICD-10 QA using dual coded medical records and deliver end-to-end Internal & External Testing. By assuring smooth ICD-10 transition, while maintaining clinical & financial neutrality, we provide comprehensive ICD-10 support services to help ease the transition, including on-site business and technical support and 24x7 Help Desk.

About Saviance

Saviance is a US based Healthcare IT Services provider focusing on the newest technology SMAC stack – Social, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud. We provide innovative solutions & enable meaningful use of IT by designing patient engagement portals, collaboration applications & actionable analytics for wellness & population health. Incorporated in 1999 in the US, with over 14 years of excellent industry track record, Saviance offers services & solutions that enable enterprises to achieve critical objectives.

Saviance is a Gold Category Corporate Member with Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), mHealth Alliance and a NJ-HITEC Corporate member. We are awarded by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in North America. Saviance is also ranked among the Fast 50 Asian American Businesses in the United States by USPAACC (US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce) and selected as a 2014 "Top Diversity Owned Business" recipient by A certified Minority Business Enterprise recognized by NMSDC, Saviance is also partner with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Samsung and Red Hat.

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