The Daily Signal, February 10, 2015
America’s doctors, already struggling with the Affordable Care Act’s regulatory burdens, could face another round of red tape—which means higher costs for ordinary Americans.
The new round of red tape is the government-mandated implementation of the International Classification of Diseases tenth revision (ICD-10). The new system, delayed last year, goes into effect Oct. 1, 2015.
The ICD-10, created and maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the latest version of the medical coding system doctors use to file claims for reimbursement with Medicare and insurance. (When you see a doctor, a code associated with your diagnosis determines how much your insurance will be billed.) The ICD-10 will replace the existing coding system (ICD-9), for medical diagnoses and inpatient procedure coding.
The new version of the ICD will increase the number of codes from 18,000 to 155,000. There is also a lot of unnecessary (not clinically relevant) data doctors must document to remain compliant.
While most Americans have probably never even heard of the ICD-10, if you go to the doctor or hospital you will be affected by it, in one way or another. For instance, the reimbursement your doctor receives is based on the code of the disease you were diagnosed with.