Optometry Coding Changes
ICD-10 is coming and optometrists everywhere need to be prepared for changes in optometry coding. Perhaps the largest area of concern is the superbill that most of us have become so comfortable with using. ICD-9 made it possible to squeeze every diagnosis into one page, making it easy for eye doctors to simply check off the diagnoses that pertain to each patient and feel satisfied that it will be billed correctly. With the change over to ICD-10 in October of this year, those codes could expand to include up to 68,000 codes, making it difficult if not impossible to fit on one page. Some organizations have created a sample superbill that incorporates the new ICD-10 codes and the bills have come out to measure 10-12 pages in length.
Switching to Electronic Methods
In addition to the fact that 68,000 codes simply will not fit on a superbill that is a suitable size for handling, there is the impracticality of expecting optometrists to filter through the codes in an efficient manner while handling patients. Time is of the essence in any physician’s practice, which means that an electronic resource that allows for efficient code implementation is essential. ICD-10 codes require more in-depth details about the diagnosis, including external causes, if there were any. Using unspecified codes or leaving off necessary supplemental codes could cause a delay or denial of claims.
Determining your Top Codes
One of the most thorough ways to prepare yourself for what is to come with ICD-10 is to take a look at your top ten to twenty ICD-9 codes that are used now. With these codes in hand, you can learn what their corresponding ICD-10 codes will look like and how they come about. To give you a brief example of what to expect, instead of the typical 5 digit code with three digits before the decimal and two after [xxx.xx] you will have codes that are three digits before the decimal and four after [xxx.xxxx]. The four digits leave room for more specific diagnoses, including specifications for which eye the diagnosis is for or the severity of the issue being diagnosed.
Preparation is Crucial
The bottom line is that plenty of preparation is necessary to be ready for October 2014. The superbill will become a thing of the past as more practices determine a more efficient manner to handle their optometry coding. While the switch over to ICD-10 can seem overwhelming, with enough preparation it can be a seamless process. It is essential that any optometry practice takes a close look at its process now to determine the necessary changes, whether it is simply training your staff or changing your entire system over to an electronic system to ensure proper optometry coding procedures.
Applied Medical Systems’ employees are fully trained in ICD-10 optometry coding. We are prepared to help your practice embrace the new coding procedures with ease and success. We are a company that has been in business for the last 30 years, helping practices of all sizes ensure accurate coding and proper procedures.
Contact us today for a free consultation with our optometry coding experts.