Medical practices across the US began adding new medical codes after the new ICD-10 medical coding system finally took effect October 2015. The new system of diagnostic and procedural codes is more complex and represents a significant increase in the number of codes used by physicians to get paid by insurers. Codes now number about 70,000 compared to about 14,000 codes used in the old ICD-9 system, which was established in 1979. Hospital codes also increased from 4,000 to 72,000. Healthcare industry experts worry that claims denials could double in number as providers and payers adjust to the more specific codes, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Health insurers struggle to attract millennials, some of whom believe they are too young and too healthy to need insurance. Marketing departments are working to create communications geared to these younger consumers, people who often research health conditions online and may be equipped with inaccurate information, according to Modern Medicine. Experts recommend focusing on young families experiencing life transitions such as relocation, employment, or childbirth. Social media campaigns, wellness webinars, and website videos can be effective, as can straightforward, easy-to-find information on billing, covered services, and physician networks. Although baby boomers are currently the largest target audience for health insurers and providers, millennials are poised to surpass boomers as the largest US generation.
Posted by Peter Heydenrych.