What ICD-10 Means For You

A gray box closed in New Orleans, LA

We can work together to make the transition as smooth as possible

If you have been following along with all the healthcare news and headlines, you may have heard talk about the October 1, 2015 deadline for the implementation of the ICD-10 list of medical classifications. In short, this means the system of codes all health care providers have used to record your existing medical conditions as well as any new findings will be changing completely.

The changes have been a long time coming, and are already in place in every other industrialized nation in the world. The benefits of adopting the new protocol include an increased ability to accommodate new technologies and procedures, more and better data to improve the quality of patient care and even a more timely response in the face of a global health crisis. Great, right? But we know what you may be thinking:  What does it mean for me during my next visit to an optometrist or other health care provider?

It’s a very good question, and one for which we may not have a complete answer right away. But there are a few things we can do as doctors and you can do as patients to make your next office visit go as smoothly as possible. During the early days of the switchover, we are spreading out our schedule to give ourselves a little extra time for each appointment. This is because the list of questions we have to ask to establish a meaningful medical history will be more longer and the answers required will need to be more detailed. It will be extremely helpful if you are able to take some time to review your own medical history and make have a specific list of any recent diagnoses and current medications ready.

And while we would love to say that we have all 16,000 new codes memorized right away, we will also require some extra time to properly record our findings so your records are correct and the insurance claims we file on your behalf are processed correctly. It is not going to be easy but it is also not an insurmountable task. With a little extra preparation on both of our parts, we should have no problem providing the same comprehensive and convenient care you have come to expect.