Software to ease ICD-10 transition: providers consider the options

Congress’ decision this spring to delay the ICD-10 deadline has given healthcare providers some extra breathing space to make the transition, but many are seeking additional help in the form of new “language-to-code” translation software.

Via Modern Healthcare:

Despite the recent congressional delay in implementing the ICD-10 coding system, there is growing interest in a high-tech way of helping physicians convert their standard clinical terminology into the complex new payment codes. It’s called “language-to-code” translation.

These translation systems are essentially computerized medical dictionaries stuffed with clinician-friendly descriptions in English or Latin of patient complaints, diagnoses and procedures, which are then linked to lists of clinical and billing codes. These words are presented to clinicians during preparation or updating of a problem list, for example, through software built into their electronic health records. Once a clinician selects a word or phrase, the software links it to code sets such as SNOMED CT—now available for free through the National Library of Medicine—the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology, and ICD-9 and ICD-10.

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