The ICD-10 classification update will take place on Thursday, October 1. Dr. Sally Brooks, Chief Medical Officer for RehabCare, shares what this means for our medical directors:

Q: What are the biggest implications of ICD-10 for our medical directors?

A: Our medical directors will need to document very specifically to demonstrate the rehabilitation needs and accurately describe the patient population we serve. Although our medical directors have documented this information under the ICD-9 methodology, ICD-10 consists of many more codes.

These new codes require documentation of the cause of the rehabilitation impairment, co-morbid conditions, detailed anatomical location, whether this is an initial or subsequent episode, severity of the need, timing of the injury and other information.

Q: How will the new requirements affect our medical directors day-to-day?

A: These new documentation requirements will require more physician time which is a limited and valuable resource.

Q: How is the company supporting our medical directors through the transition?

A: Our leadership and clinical practice teams developed and provided rehabilitation- specific training on the new ICD-10 method of documentation. We are told that the general ICD-10 training provided by healthcare systems and professional organizations is not specific to the inpatient rehabilitation environment.

By Dr. Sally Brooks