70,000 Ways to Classify Ailments

via Wall Street Journal

‘We’re hoping [the switch to the new codes] will be like Y2K,’ when computer systems managed the date switch to 2000, says Dr. Robert Wergin, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, shown with a patient in 2014.

Doctors, hospitals and insurers are bracing for possible disruptions on Oct. 1 when the U.S. health-care system switches to a massive new set of codes for describing illnesses and injuries.

Under the new system, cardiologists will have not one but 845 codes for angioplasty. Dermatologists will need to specify which of eight kinds of acne a patient has. Gastroenterologists who don’t know what’s causing a patient’s stomachache will be asked to specify where the pain is and what other symptoms are present—gas? eructation (belching)?—since there is a separate code for each.

In all, the number of diagnostic codes doctors must use to get paid is expanding from 14,000 to 70,000 in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-10. A separate set of ICD-10 procedure codes for hospitals is also expanding, from 4,000 to 72,000.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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