How Will ICD-10 Benefit ENT Practitioners
The ICD-10 transition has received a bad reputation from multiple setbacks and a feeling of uneasiness by medical practitioners. For many physicians, the changeover to ICD-10 has become a bitter pill they must swallow. However, it is important to tell both sides of the story and see that there is a silver lining to the dark clouds looming. Let’s take a moment to look at the benefits of ICD-10.
While this is the bulk of complaints about ICD-10, the expanded codes will be the most beneficial component of the new system. With the number inflating almost fivefold, this may potentially cause doctors to incorrectly report in the early phases, resulting in an initial increase in denials. Despite this challenge, it will eventually become a bonus once practitioners have fully adapted. Primarily, the added codes will allow doctors to more accurately capture data about their patients on a detailed level. Whereas ICD-9 data was generalized in its coding structure, ICD-10 is an attempt to deliver the tools to precisely describe and record every case a provider comes across.
We are now in the age of big data. Everywhere we turn, a multitude of gadgets and software are collecting information about us and our environment. With healthcare technology also constantly advancing, creating a data collection engine such as ICD-10 makes a lot of sense. Once these records are obtained, they can be analyzed to develop novel insights into medicine, epidemics, disease prevalence, and a host of other important health and wellness aspects. When pictured this way, ICD-10 can be seen as a vital vehicle capable of carrying medicine into the next frontier of discoveries.
As an ENT, you’ll treat thousands of patients over the course of your career. If each doctor has the same track record, this translates into millions of patients. As universal healthcare reaches critical mass in adoption, it has become imperative that patients play a more proactive role in their treatment. With ICD-10, this means any patient who comes to you from another doctor comes with a rich medical history. This can only portend better health outcomes as instances of misdiagnoses and other medical lapses will likely decrease.
These and other factors paint a picture of a system that may be difficult to initiate but will ultimately provide huge benefits to the medical community, now and well into the future.