ICD-10 Implementation: Are we ready?

Pamela Haney, MS, RHIA, CCS, CPC-H
Director of Coding Services
Synernet, Inc.

We have been hearing about the move to ICD-10 for a couple of years now and we have already had one delay from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014.

Are we really moving to ICD-10? what is the value of moving to ICD-10?

The value of moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10 includes:
– Greater coding accuracy and specificity
– Improved quality of information for measuring healthcare service
– Quality and safety; improved tracking of public health issues
– Ability to compare coded healthcare data around the globe

Many organizations are taking a “wait and see” approach thinking that maybe CMS will once again delay this implementation because organizations are not ready. According to recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) research, only 4.8 percent of practices reported that they have made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation. The research includes responses from more than 1,200 medical groups where more than 55,000 physicians practice.

In addition, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) surveyed 87 vendors, 109 health plans, and 778 providers in February 2013 and found that over half of the respondents did not know when they would complete an impact assessment or when they would be ready to start testing.

“Provider readiness appears to be a major concern in meeting the 2014 compliance deadline. Unless more providers move quickly forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2014. Also, there will not be enough time to do proper end-to end-testing in the CMS suggested timeframes (starting Oct. 1, 2013), as the industry will not be ready for that step.” Per WEDI’s letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

The risks of not being prepared far outweigh the costs of ICD-10 readiness. Organizations will serve themselves well by assessing risks, performing a gap analysis and starting a documentation assessment now.

About Pam Haney, , MS, RHIA, CCS, CPC-H

Pam holds a BS in Health Information Management from Stephens College in Columbia, MO and a Master’s of Science degree in Health Care Administration from California College for Health Sciences. She holds a certificate in Practice Workflow and Information Management Redesign Specialist from Southern Maine Community College.

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