If your law firm still handles Medicare lien resolution in-house, there are now 155,000 reasons for you to consider looking for a new solution. That’s because later this year Medicare is rolling out sweeping revisions to the billing codes that must be used in connection with Medicare reimbursement and lien-related work.
The Medicare bureaucracy is often reviled for its complexity and inefficiency. Well, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. As of Oct. 1, 2015 the ICD-9 codes, which have been in use since 1975, are going to be replaced with the next generation, ICD-10. The change over entails an exponential increase in complexity, moving from the 17,000 treatment codes covered by the current ICD-9 scheme to as many as 155,000 treatment codes possible under ICD-10. As Medicare explains it, the massive overhaul is necessary to ensure more accurate billing and to better reflect the full range of technology, diagnoses and procedures used in hospitals today.
This means that hospitals have to modernize EVERYTHING relating to their billing systems and procedures. The billers have to be retrained, the computers have to be upgraded and no, this won’t come cheap. The President-elect of the American Medical Association, Steven J. Stack called the change “a massive unfunded mandate that comes at a time when physicians are trying to meet several other federal technology requirements and risk penalties if they fail to do so.” [Read more…]