Posted in ICD-10 & Coding

ICD-10 codes and documentation need to get more specific

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale
ICD-10 codes and documentation need to get more specific

It's too early to tell if the end of the ICD-10 specificity grace period is having any effect, but there are signs of optimism that heathcare providers will get more specific without much trouble.

Nelly Leon-Chisen, director of coding and classification for the American Hospital Association, tells Andis Robeznieks at Hospitals & Health Networks that preparation for this year's increase in ICD-10 specificity and ICD-10 code update is much like the preparation for 2015's ICD-10 implementation.  Which should mean a relatively painless impact on medical coding productivity and revenue.

But that doesn't mean clinical documentation is where it needs to be. It still needs to improve.

Tammie Olson of Management Resource Group, an Ocean Springs, Mississippi., warns Avery Hurt that physicians are providing specific ICD-10 codes without supporting it in documentation. And if there are more audits, healthcare providers will could run into more trouble.

By the way, Hurt also found healthcare providers who didn't have a disastrous transition to ICD-10 coding.

She also found optimism that ICD-10 data — supported by specific documentation — will improve population health research and financial performance.