<0> Office AllyRoss Goldberg, 818-597-8453, x-1 </0>
Office Ally announced today the development and availability of a new conversion tool that will help healthcare providers comply with new government regulations regarding how they document – or “code” – care delivered to patients. The more accurately a provider can code care provided, the more accurately that care can be tracked and the provider can be properly reimbursed.
Coding has been used in the United States for more than 100 years with codes or “alphanumeric designations” given to every diagnosis, description of symptoms, and cause of death. Currently, most of the codes in the United States are ICD-9 codes, or version 9 of the International Statistical Classifications of Diseases. The government has mandated that by October 1, 2014, all providers transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
“The ICD-10 codes are not simply increased and renumbered ICD-9 code sets,” says Brian O’Neill, president and CEO of Office Ally. “Instead, the ICD-10 codes have fundamental differences including changes in terminology and a greater level of diagnosis detail to appropriately reflect advances in medical knowledge. The degree and complexity of these changes underscores the need to have the right tools in place to make this conversion as easy as possible.”
Toward that end Office Ally has developed a new and easy-to-use Diagnosis Lookup tool, which O’Neill says will “help providers ease the transition to ICD-10.” Providers go to the code search tool at and simply enter the first three characters of an ICD-9 code or ICD-10, and the tool will automatically return the corresponding ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes. Providers can also enter a description – such as diabetes – and the tool will return all of the ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes that contain that key word.
According to O’Neill, the challenge of converting to the ICD-10 codes is further complicated by what he calls a “one-to-many relationship between the ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes,” noting that the approximately 13,000 ICD-9 codes will become more than 68,000 ICD-10 codes. The new Office Ally product – which is available free of charge to any current or future user of Office Ally – allows providers to quickly and easily sort through all of these numerations.
“As the healthcare industry moves more and more into electronic medical records, these codes will become even more critical for physicians and other medical professionals as it pertains to both diagnostic purposes as well as tracking certain kinds of diseases,” says O’Neill. “Accurate coding also takes on heightened significance in an accountable care and population health management environment as these codes provide a good snapshot of the general health of certain populations and allows for monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems.”
isthe only organization in the country offering healthcare providers a full suite of revenue-cycle management services. Founded in 2000, Office Ally currently works with more than 300,000 providers and 5,600 insurance carriers in all 50 states. It also houses eligibility for nearly 400 IPAs and small health plans. Its complete suite of interactive ASP Internet-based solutions includes a patient health registry – Patient Ally™, electronic health records – EHR 24/7™, practice management – Practice Mate™, clearinghouse and case-connect tool. All of Office Ally’s products and services are offered at minimal or no cost to providers, with customer and technical support available 24/7. Further information may be obtained at .