Medical bills are about to get a lot more complicated for doctors, as the U.S. healthcare system adds many new insurance codes that are meant to dig deeper into the details of an injury.
- The ICD-9 has been in effect since 1978
- The ICD-10 now has 68,000 new codes of describing several conditions
- Supporters of the new code claim that this will bring greater flexibility, better coordination and improved digitized data
- Others believe this will slow down the process, delay healthcare or possibly drive up medical bills
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a compilation of codes that represents the “standard diagnostic tool” designed for the purpose of helping hospitals and insurance companies achieve a better understanding in patient’s claims. It’s maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has recently approved an update.
The ICD-9 has been in effect since 1978, but has just seen an upgrade. The ICD-10 has lifted the number of 14,000 codes to a whopping 68,000 that describe more diseases, conditions, symptoms or causes that might ever be encountered. They range from the most detailed circumstances to the more humorous implications.
Thus, the internet has made sure to jump on the chance of mocking these new, odd and highly detailed codes.
Supporters of the new coding systems has stated that it’s all for the greater good. It will provide better data on injuries, add to research, catch epidemics much sooner, and better improve the relationship between patients and insurance companies. Or, according to others, it could just slow down the entire system and delay healthcare.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have stated that this will better define several conditions and help treat complex medical conditions. If it all goes smoothly, it will improve the quality of healthcare systems by enhancing the coordination between insurance companies and doctors, hospitals or other medical health professionals.
They include varied types of diagnosis that could be very rare, but should nonetheless be known.
For example, doctors will now have to make the difference in vehicle accidents by specifying precisely if it was a ‘car on car’ collision or a ‘car on truck’ accident. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have claimed that this will provide greater flexibility when dealing with medical needs of patients.
At the same time, it will provide for easier digitizing when every specific condition has a code.
However, some are more concerned about their use. While many of the codes will likely fall on the optional field, and are likely to never be used by doctors, some insurance companies might require them. This has sparked the worries of multiple experts that it will double paperwork and increase the cost for patients.
In fact, a representant of a benefit consulting firm has stated that doctors might resort to the old, simpler codes, and the extra charges that have not been mentioned will be passed on to the patients. This will mean bigger medical bills. However, it’s still uncertain how this new modification will affect the medical community.
Depending on its implementation, it could be an excellent benefit or it will slow down the entire process. It does contain some gems, such as ‘Bitten by Macaw’, ‘Injured in prison swimming pool’, or ‘Sucked into jet engine’ that have already sparked multiple mock diagnoses on the internet.
Image source: muradukblog.wordpress.com