EHR and practice management for mental / behavioral health
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DSM-5 Myths & Misinformation (Part 3)

by Leigh-Ann Renz, 9.1.14

DSM-5 Myth # 2:

“So after I have to learn an entirely new code set for DSM-5, I’ll have to start from stratch with ICD-10!?”

No!! Although mental / behavioral health care providers such as psychologists and psychiatrists have the added challenge of incorporating DSM-5 in addition to ICD-10, the good news is that they cover both at the same time!

Learning an entirely new code set and coding pathway such as DSM-5 is challenging, to be sure. But the good news for our industry is that after the transition to DSM-5 is complete, switching to ICD-10 codes next fall should be a smooth and organic process.

For example, whereas you typically diagnosed Rett’s Disorder as 299.80 under DSM-IV, you now must pick the correct specifier description under the much broader code of 299.00, which covers signifcantly more ground. However, once you’ve made that switch from coding with DSM-IV to DSM-5, using the ICD-10 code of F84.0 next October should be a relatively easy process.

Simply put, mental / behavioral health has the harder work now: whereas the rest of the medical field will be struggling to learn ICD-10 in 2015, DSM-5 has been in effect since 1/1/14. Although switching code sets is never easy, it is comforting to know that we have the advantage of being forced into this transition early.

While we’ll still have to deal with the challenges of dual coding due to dates of service and seeing if payers are truly ready to handle the ICD-10 switchover, at least we will be accustomed to looking to the correct diagnosis code. It will simply be a matter of choosing the DSM-5 number in parentheses come 10/1/15.

DSM-5 Myth # 2: “I’ve been using DSM codes my whole career, but now I have to use ICD-10 codes, whatever that means.”

DSM-5 Myth # 1: “The deadine for ICD-10 was pushed back to 2015, so the deadline for DSM-5 must be delayed too.”

See the PIMSY Coding & Billing Resource Center for more information, tools and complimentary resources.

Leigh-Ann Renz is the Business Development and Marketing Director of PIMSY EHR.

Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY EHR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Mental Health EHR.

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