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U.S. Healthcare System Introduces New Clinical Code

by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Oct 01, 2015

Patients May Need to Update Medical Orders

On October 1, the nation’s healthcare system converted to a new clinical coding system. The change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is a requirement for healthcare providers and payers.

“There has been extensive nationwide coordination among all segments of healthcare, including physicians, hospitals, payers and others for the change to ICD-10,” said Dee Betts, Director, Health Information Management at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

U.S. healthcare providers and payers – government and private – use the same clinical coding system. This provides a common language with regard to patients’ diagnoses and treatments as well as payment for services. The new ICD-10 coding system updates the 36-year-old ICD-9, which no longer meets the demands of today’s healthcare system.

How will this change impact patients? According to Betts, the transition will be invisible to most patients. However, people with orders for medical services – regular laboratory work, for example – written before the October 1 ICD-10 launch, may need to contact their physician or other healthcare provider for an update.  

“Doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are the only healthcare providers in Arizona who are allowed to write medical orders,” Betts said. “Your provider knows your diagnosis and the treatment he or she is prescribing so that individual needs to update any medical orders.”