Why ICD-10 codes are going to become more important

While Washington, D.C., isn't clear on what will happen to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it doesn't look like MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) will be repealed or replaced. This is important because MACRA is creating a greater emphasis on ICD-10 coding.

Rebecca Caux-Harry explains that medical coders focus on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding because that drives reimbursement. The ICD-10 codes have taken a supporting role.

But MACRA will put an emphasis on managing health outcomes — which will emphasize ICD-10 coding. That will require more complex and granular ICD-10 codes.

Reimbursement will be based upon Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs) that are based upon ICD-10 codes. ICD-10 proficiency will be key to preserving reimbursement revenue.