On Oct. 1, 2015, the healthcare industry went through the first large scale coding change in over 30 years with the implementation of ICD-10. Previously, ICD-9 has been the coding standard for over three decades, classifying medical procedures into approximately 13,000 diagnostic codes. The new coding system has nearly 68,000 codes and significantly more specificity required for each procedure. The reason for the change is to give insurance payers better information on the procedures that are completed, but it will also put an additional burden on medical providers to properly code and maintain records.
Following the implementation, many medical providers have noted a slowdown in payments as providers, billers, and insurance companies adjust to the new coding requirements. This is especially true for smaller to mid-size healthcare companies, as many small businesses already struggled with long payment delays which hurt working capital.
Many companies have seen the typical 30-60 day payment cycle for Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies extend by a month or more.
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