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Upcoming Changes to Medical Billing

Starting in October of 2013 there is going to be significant changes to the way medical-billing takes place in the United States. The new federally mandated system will require doctors to use a bank of more than 140,000 alphanumeric codes to describe medical services and injuries sent on bills to health insurance providers. Below is a description of the way things can be expected to change for health care delivery according to Dan Feinberg, the director of the health informatics program at Northeastern University.

The new system will not fundamentally change the way that data is collected by doctors and nurses. Instead it changes the way that data is recorded within information systems. By using codes for specific medical conditions and circumstances computers will be able to find patterns within the data. Dan Feinberg says, “We will be much better at detecting outbreaks, and we will be much better at identifying how to keep people healthy… finer data in ICD-10 will allow us to identify patients with problems and pair them with nurses who can address them.”

The ICD-10, or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, is a coding system developed by the World Health Organization. Its use in medical billing practices will allow the detection of health trends and increase the potential of preventative care. Standardized medical information is paramount for successfully sharing information about conditions and diseases throughout the health care system. Many other countries in the world already use the ICD-10 in their health care.

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