When you go to the doctor, you never expect that a mistake will be made that could cause you harm. Unfortunately, medical mistakes common in the United States. In some instances, a doctor may initially choose the wrong diagnosis code, which can prevent a person from receiving appropriate care. At Townsend Law LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys in Kansas City are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensation they need.
Doctors go through years of education and training, learning the skills needed to evaluate their patients. This includes medical school and grueling years of residency. However, no amount of training a doctor receives will matter if they pick the wrong diagnosis code for your case and cause you significant harm.
When your doctor evaluates you, they pick a diagnosis code to match your condition. Any tests ordered will also be linked to this diagnosis code. This information is then relayed to the patient’s insurance carrier so the doctor can be paid for their services.
However, failure to code correctly could directly impact the treatment a patient receives.
The International Classification of Diseases is now in its 10th addition and has been since 1990. This is a list of diagnoses used around the world to track disease and mortality rates. The previous version was ICD-9, and the newest version is ICD-10. However, The United States was slow to adopt the most recent changes and transition to ICD-10. This country only did so in 2015.
There are approximately 155,000 codes available in ICD-10, as opposed to 17,000 on ICD-9. This has inevitably led to significant confusion among doctors who were not prepared for the change.
Codes have minor variances between specific diagnoses. Inaccurate coding can result in improper care for a patient. A missing 2-digit modifier for a shoulder injury could result in an MRI being conducted on the wrong shoulder. An incorrect diagnosis code could cause an obstetrician withholding pain medicine during a woman’s pregnancy.
At best, an incorrect diagnosis code will lead to major problems with a patient’s billing and delay reimbursement for a doctor’s services. The worst-case scenario, though, is a patient being harmed because of doctor is not fully trained to use ICD-10 codes.
If you or somebody you love has been injured or become ill because of a mistake made by a medical professional, contact an attorney today. At Townsend Law LLC, our qualified and experienced team will investigate your case in order to secure the compensation you are entitled to. This could include the following: