Your physician office lab customers probably won’t experience too much heartburn making the transition to ICD-10, at least as it relates to lab products and procedures, according to those with whom Repertoire spoke.

 

“ICD codes are used to report diagnoses for both ambulatory patients and for inpatients, but for labs themselves, the change in codes should not have major effects – at least not right away,” says Kathleen Claessens, senior director of federal health policy and reimbursement, Roche Diagnostics Corp. “On a lab claim, the codes the lab reports come from a requisition, which includes diagnoses based on information known to the physician at the time the test is ordered. So the codes will be different, but the information conveyed and the lab tests ordered should be the same.” What’s more, for outpatient tests, labs submit CPT codes to describe the tests, and those codes are not affected by the transition to ICD-10, she points out.

 

“For most of our customers, in terms of rapid tests, there won’t be a change,” says Julie Fadel, MT (ASCP), associate director, technical marketing, Sekisui Diagnostics. “Outpatient facilities will still use CPT codes for billing.” What’s more, most rapid tests are used to detect fairly common diseases. “I can’t imagine it will be that difficult to crosswalk to the appropriate ICD-10,” she says. Although the ICD-10 codes are more specific, a strep throat is, after all, a strep throat. Even with less recognizable tests, such as those for bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, the coding should be straightforward.

 

Fadel says she’s curious to see how the transition to the 5010 electronic transaction goes. And then, beginning next year, she intends to ask sales reps about their customers’ readiness for ICD-10, “to keep a pulse.”

 

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