Image 01 Image 02 Image 03 Image 04 Image 05 Image 06 Image 07 Image 08 Image 09

2014: Predictions for the Healthcare Industry

This has been an eventful year in the healthcare industry – the newest CMS 1500 form was released, the Health Insurance Exchanges opened and the industry continued to prepare for the upcoming ICD-10 implementation. Based on insight from the media, 2014 is predicted to be another important and active year for healthcare. 

The first major healthcare event in 2014 will happen on January 1, when health coverage through the Health Insurance Exchanges begins. Since its open this past October, hundreds of thousands of people have gained insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This number is likely to accelerate during the final few weeks leading up to the coverage opening. Many Americans who were previously uninsured will begin to receive healthcare that may have been unaffordable before. The resulting increase in medical visits and treatments can be expected to generate millions more claims.

The other major event that will occur next year is the implementation of ICD-10, which includes  the newest code set for medical claims and is scheduled to replace the current ICD-9 code set on October 1. ICD-10 has some 69,000 very specific codes to represent various medical conditions, as opposed to ICD-9, the current standard which has only about 13,000. To prepare for the implementation, healthcare organizations are encouraged to train staff on the new codes, while continuing to maintain 5010 compliance and process claims with the latest CMS 1500 revisions. Errors and some confusion will probably occur after ICD-10 is implemented; much of this can be avoided, however, through proper training and preparation throughout the months leading up to October.

Healthcare technology is almost certain to continue evolving at a very rapid rate. The Health Insurance Exchanges make it possible to purchase insurance online. The development of 3-D printing will allow for highly advanced artificial body parts. The exchange of healthcare information will be easily transferable through computers and mobile devices. Due to the increasing amount of information available online, more and more Americans will educate themselves about treatments and preventative measures. With such rapid advancements in both medicine and technology, it is hard to predict the future. However, it is safe to say that many new surprises in healthcare technology will likely be revealed in 2014.

Preparing for the opening of coverage from the Health Insurance Exchanges and the implementation deadline of ICD-10 are sure to add pressure for all involved. Though change can be stressful, it can also be very exciting, as 2014 is likely to prove.