September 18, 2015
Do you remember the story about Chicken Little? Chicken Little ran around yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Welcome to the modern day version of this story. I am cast in the role of Chicken Little and I am quite sure that on the first of October the sky will collapse on top of all of us!
On October 1, 2015, every doctor’s office in this country will be forced to change their coding system over to the “ICD 10” codes designed to capture more information and data points for Medicare and the insurers of the world. The new system transitions from 14,000 codes to 64,000 codes and is radically different from anything we have dealt with in the past. Every code I have used for the last 20 years will be obsolete. Every description of illness I have used to search for diagnostic codes will be thrown in the garbage. Every physician in our country will be forced to learn a new system while actively caring for their patients.
PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH US. OUR OFFICE FLOW WILL SIGNIFICANTLY SLOW DOWN AS WILL THE FLOW OF PATIENTS IN EVERY OFFICE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WE HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR THIS EVENT FOR THE LAST YEAR. THIS CHANGEOVER MAY BE MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN THE FEARED “MILLENIUM” CHANGE. I HOPE NOT!
On the bright side, if you are bitten by a Beluga Whale in Lake Zurich, I will be able to appropriately code your visit so that Medicare will be able to track the incidence and importance of whale attacks in our village. Equally important, if you are sucked into a jet engine at the airport, the emergency room will be able to code for that as well. Of major significance is the fact that there is a code for the second episode of being sucked into a jet engine! I am sure you understand the importance of such advances in medical coding and will not mind the prolonged wait to be seen.