Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Ambulance service switches to newly adopted billing guidelines

 


The Kimball County Commissioners received an update on the county ambulance service at Tuesday’s meeting.

According to Carla Goranson, ambulance director, the ambulance crew received a total of 49 service calls in the month of September, ranging from falls to seizures. The total amount of charges to patients for the month of September was $23,055.25. The total to date for this year was $302,055.25.

Goranson also discussed the recent changes to their billing requirements. Recently there a change to the requirements, which was formally ICD-9 before Oct. 1, 2015, to new code guidelines and now it will be ICD-10.

“We went from 13,000 to 68,000 codes that can describe what can happen to the human body,” explained Goranson in regards to the newest program.

ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO). It contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases. The United States was the last country to adopt the ICD-10 codes.

“So, for instance, if we have someone who falls, we used to have a choice of “fall,” and now we have a choice of 20-some choices,” Goranson said. “Did they fall from a building? Did they fall from stumbling? From a standing position?”

Kim Schildhauer, also of the county ambulance service, believes the system will open the door for a lot of denials from the insurance companies because of a lack of documentation, if the codes are not entered into the system correctly.

 

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