Young children just learning to swim often wear inflatable supports around their arms, commonly called “floaties”, to prevent them from sinking as they get acclimated to a new, watery environment.
Healthcare providers have just been given the equivalent of a pair of floaties by CMS, which announced that for a year starting Oct. 1, when ICD-10 becomes the medical coding standard in the U.S., incorrectly coded claims will still be paid. It’s a safe bet many providers are breathing a sigh of relief today (and thanking the AMA).
It’s comforting to know you have a margin for error when you’re learning something new. Chances are many physicians, billers and coders will now feel that way about ICD-10.
Obviously, generations of kids learned to swim before the invention of floaties. One way or another, swimmers must learn the strokes, as healthcare providers must learn ICD-10. Confidence and proficiency will come in time. And when it does, it will feel good to shed the floaties.