On October first of this year the medical community of the United States will join the rest of the world’s medical community. This will be the day that this country finally enacts the new medical codes to be used for billing. We are just slightly behind the rest of the world ( 10 years and yes we are literally the last country to adopt these new codes ). So, if you go to your doctor’s office or a hospital and see people behaving weirdly, they have a good reason because literally thousands of medical codes now have brand new numbers.
Of course there is a coding converter available on line. I just hope that when I am converting old codes ( ICD9 ) to new codes ( ICD10 ), that I don’t accidently pick a pregnancy code for some of our patients ( we deal mostly with the elderly in the home healthcare business ). Imagine the surprise of some of these elderly patients ( especially the men ), when they find that they are being charged for pregnancy services. Of course there is that saying ” It is never too late”.
After talking with some of my friends that are still doing medical coding, it appears that some may retire early due to the stress of the conversion. After a while you memorize certain codes that you use over and over. Now all that has changed. This made me think though, I wonder if they have a new code for suicide from coding stress. Seems that this could become a popular code in the coming months.