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Important Coding Changes in 2014 and Beyond

At the 20th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on October 26, Paul Cadorette, director of educational services at mdStrategies, discussed important changes in coding and billing over the next year.

Mr. Cadorette opened the session by laying out the dates on which different coding changes go into effect. These are:

•    Oct. 1, 2013-2014: ICD-9 updates go into effect
•    Jan. 1, 2014: Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) changes go into effect
•    Jan. 1 and Jul. 1, 2014: Category III CPT Code updates go into effect
•    Jan.1, Apr.1, Jul.1, Oct.1: Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes quarterly updates go into effect
•    Oct. 1, 2014: Implementation of ICD-10

"Every year, after Jan.1, coders should take a webinar and go through the CPT book," said Mr. Cadorette. "It can really make a change to your bottom line."

In 2014, there will be limited code updates available for ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 to capture new technologies and diseases. Updates will be made to the Category III CPT code set. This code set is a temporary set of codes for emerging technologies, services and procedures. The website to access updates to this code set is "Coders should print out these updates and keep them on them," said Mr. Cadorette.

Another aspect that results in changes to codes are edits made by the National Correct Coding Initiative. CMS developed the NCCI to prevent inappropriate payment of services that should not be reported together. Coders should check for NCCI edit updates on the CMS website.

Mr. Cadorette ended the session by advising surgery centers to begin training for ICD-10 anytime after the Jan. 1, 2014.

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