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Ashok Bagdy: U.S. Government Delays Medical Code Updates

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it will push back the deadline for implementing new medical billing codes. The deadline for adoption of the new codes, which are used to bill insurance, is now October 1, 2014.

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Ashok Bagdy: U.S. Government Delays Medical Code Updates

  1. 1.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it will push back the deadline for implementing new medical billing codes. The deadline for adoption of the new codes, which are used to bill insurance, is now October 1, 2014. The Department approved the yearlong delay to provide physicians and health care providers more time to adjust to the new, longer codes. The new codes will be used to document both diagnoses and procedures in medical billing and insurance claims. Much of the delay is attributed to the length of the new billing codes. The current diagnosis codes run three to five digits in length and number over 14,000 characters.
  2. 2.  The new diagnosis codes are as long as seven digits and contain 68,000 characters. For procedures, the existing codes include an estimated 4,000 characters and are three to four digits long. The new codes will hold 87,000 characters and run seven digits in length. The changes require health care providers to train staff members to understand the longer codes and use the new system. Providers also are grappling with technology upgrades and investments to accommodate the new codes.
  3. 3.  Based in Florida, Ashok Bagdy is an executive in the healthcare outsourcing industry for Cameo Corporate Services Limited.

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