Incomplete ICD-9 codes
MSF receives numerous claims that are missing 4th and 5th digits of ICD-9 diagnosis codes. These 4th and 5th digits add specificity that completes the code. Claims with incorrect ICD-9 codes are not currently denied, but they are reported on a daily basis.
With ICD-10 looming on the horizon, it is a good time to review your process of selecting diagnosis codes and to verify that the codes being used are correct and complete.
Documentation plays a large role in choosing a code and ICD-10 will require a higher level of specificity in order to make a code choice. Providers and staff should be looking at current documentation standards and start making changes that will be beneficial once ICD-10 goes into effect.