Anesthesiologist Billing Codes Will Increase in 2013

Changes are coming to anesthesiologist billing that will slow the process down. Insurance companies already don’t make it easy to have your claims paid, but the process is getting even more difficult in 2013.

Anesthesiologist billing codes are always changing so stay posted to make sure you are on top of them. Anesthesia Resource can provide anesthesiologist with the resources and support they need to handle all their billing needs.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) currently contains 17,000 billing codes to choose from in order to classify diseases and a wide variety of symptoms, causes, and other variables. On October 1, 2013, the number of codes will increase to 155,000 under the ICD-10.

Changes in the anesthesiologist billing codes

  • ICD-10-CM codes will have three to seven digits.
  • Digit one is alpha (A-Z, not case sensitive).
  • Digit two is numeric.
  • Digit three is alpha (not case sensitive) or numeric.
  • Digits four to seven are alpha (not case sensitive) or numeric.

These changes and others mean that the diagnosis codes you are used to reporting will no longer be there. Many diagnosis codes will include more details than their present counterparts, and some sub-codes of the family will even move to different locations.

There will need to be significant education and training for coders, billers, practice managers, physicians and other health care personnel to fully implement this major code change. According to AACP, ICD-10 will change everything. They also said the big differences between the two systems are ones that will affect billing for information technology and software for anesthesiologist practices.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human estimates that “the percent of returned claims may peak at around six percent to 10 percent of the pre-implementation levels” for the first three to six months post-implementation, and that practices will experience elevated claims-processing costs for the first three years of the implementation of these new anesthesiologist billing codes.

CD-10 is currently active in almost every country in the world, except the United States. The ICD-9 code set is more than 30 years old and is obsolete. One good thing about the new anesthesiologist billing codes is that studies find them to be more logical. Other benefits of the system include the following:

  • More-accurate payments for new procedures.
  • Fewer miscoded, rejected, and improper reimbursement claims.
  • Better understanding of the value of new procedures.
  • Improved disease management.
  • Better understanding of health care outcomes.

According to estimates by the Medical Group Management Association, the average cost of upgrading to ICD-10 for a three-physician practice will be $84,000 for a practice that does all of its own billing and management.

Overall, the new rules will require more work for awhile. And more work means less time for you and your practice. As an anesthesiologist, why not outsource your billing to someone who has the knowledge to make the switch without slowing down the process and costing your practice money?

Anesthesia billing companies will be sure to have their systems updated and staff trained so they can continue to help their clients save money and time.

Contact us today and let us help you with your anesthesiologist billing needs.

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