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MedData’s CEO Barnes: ICD-10 will be a big-data journey

Radiographs of the ankle, hip and knee getting coded as mammograms; a popular code-assist product failing right out of the gate and remaining troublesome months later; small billing companies shuttering their offices, leaving physician practices without any billing services at all. These are some of the scenarios reported in the wake of the Oct. 1, 2015, launch of the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10).

Ann Barnes, president of MedData, one of the largest revenue cycle management (RCM) firms in the U.S., says such troubles were inevitable heading into the ICD-10 era, but they are fixable going forward. If high-performing coders are indispensible to the job, so is equipping them with up-to-the-task technology.

Well-trained coders, a sharp technology platform and a laser focus on clients and their patients all served MedData well through the transition, according to Barnes. She recently took questions on ICD-10 from imagingBiz. Key excerpts follow.

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