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ICD-10 – Some Common Myths

Feb 28th 2014 at 4:32 AM

As the deadline for the ICD-10 medical coding implementation fast approaches, Healthcare Providers and Facilities are in full spree preparing for the transition. The latest news from the CMS is that it has scheduled the ICD-10 vendor testing to start from March 1 and continue to July 31, 2014. Also, it has released ‘Road to 10’, a tool that will guide small medical practices through the ICD-10 medical coding transition. While such activities keep Providers busy 24x7, they are unclear of what next to proceed, due to the misconceptions surrounding the ICD-10 transition. The following table contains 10 common ICD-10 myths and facts that will give medical coding specialists a clear view on the transition process:



Many medical coding specialists believe that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would provide extra time for the ICD-10 transition once the compliance deadline is met.

Facts:The fact is that claims processed using the ICD-9 code set will not get paid after October 1, 2014, as HHS has no intention to extend the compliance date.



The ICD-10 transition is subject to only HIPAA-covered healthcare entities, so state Medicaid programs need not worry about the ICD-10 medical coding implementation.

Facts:State Medicaid programs are also expected to implement the ICD-10-CM code sets.



Entities like Worker’s Compensation, Liability, PIP and Auto Insurance Companies are not covered by HIPAA. Therefore, they need not use ICD-10 codes.

Facts:It is advisable that they also prepare for the ICD-10 medical coding transition because ICD-9-CM is outdated and will no longer be in use.



An inclusion of over 200,000 codes will complicate the new coding system.

Facts:In reality, the ICD-10 medical coding system will be more user-friendly than imagined. It is incorporated with advanced electronic coding tools and alphabetic index to help medical coding specialists fetch the right code within minutes.



All coding processes can be performed only by electronic means.

Facts:Coding processes can also be carried out using ICD-10-CM code books, which are already available in the market.



ICD-10-CM was built using the clinical input provided only by administrators and accountants.

Facts:Several healthcare Professionals, medical coding specialists, and medical specialty societies have contributed much to the development of the ICD-10 code sets.



ICD-10-CM is outdated as it was developed many years ago.

Facts:In the past, the ICD-9-CM system was updated with new codes periodically however it will not be the case anymore. From October 1, 2014, the new ICD-10-CM coding system will take effect and will be again updated periodically.



Superbills based on the ICD-10 coding system will be convoluted and too long.

Facts:They will not be more complex than ICD-9-CM. However, the superbill conversion process involving the removal of rarely used codes and common code cross-walking should be done.



Coding medical records is done using GEMs (General Equivalence Mappings).

Facts:The process is carried out using code books.



GEMs can be used only by Medicare, while other Payers develop their own mappings.

Facts:They can be used free of cost by all Providers, Payers and data users.

About MGSI:

ICD-10 medical coding transition will be a breeze once Providers outsource medical billing to a reputed medical coding company like MGSI. Based in Florida, this highly-experienced national medical billing company has been providing unparalleled medical coding, medical billing and collections services to its clients for over 20 years. To learn more details, log on to

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