Why Dual Medical Coding is Important

Why Dual Medical Coding is Important

Dual medical coding, that is using ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding systems simultaneously, is being utilized by some medical billing and coding providers. In fact, some medical claims payers are open to such a process, as U.S. medical practices and hospitals switch using from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes. That changeover from ICD-9 to ICD-10, which is to be complete by October 1, 2015, has a lot of people in the field concerned, including healthcare providers, medical billing and coding companies, and payers.

Thus, dual coding is seen as a way of facilitating the switch from one coding system to the other. Here are some perceived benefits of the process that uses both ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding systems.

Easy of Transition

It’s thought that having medical coders utilize both systems at the same time may aid in the overall transition, as they are able to associate the new codes with a specific procedure or diagnosis described by the old code. By making this an active part of the process, medical coders get important practical experience with ICD-10 while creating viable claims using ICD-9.

Comparative Data

This process will also give insurance companies and government institutions data by which they can compare the two coding systems, and which may be used to further refine ICD-10 coding. The information gained through this process may also help to predict what reimbursements will be like once the new code is in effect.

Improving Claim Submissions

In using ICD-10 in these active test submissions, clinicians and coders will be able to hone their skills in relationship to using ICD-10. They’ll be discovering how to create a viable medical claim form using the new system and be able to refine their process before October 1. In a way, they will be more comfortable in using the new system and be more prepared to let go of the old system.

Changeover Mapping

There will be thousands of records actively chronicling the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. This mapping will help to provide information concerning any holes in the process, adjustments that might need to be made, and situations that may cause delays. It will give everyone involved a clearer picture of what to expect after October 1, 2015 when ICD-10 is being used full out.

Real Case Histories

Those in the medical and billing and coding professions will have real case histories of ICD-10 claims that will serve as models for when the major transition occurs. Thus, they will be able to be more successful will the new system. This may help to enhance productivity of medical billers and coders at a time when it is expected to fall by as much as 50%.

Hit the Road Running

By using dual medical coding, those working as healthcare providers and as medical billers and coders will be better able to make the adjustments necessary when October 1 comes along. It will still be a bumpy ride, but by working together to smooth things out a bit, payers, billers, and providers may all benefit.

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