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ICD-10 Delay Alters Provider, Vendor Prep

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2014

While the latest delay of ICD-10 has created some confusion, the CEO of AHIMA says providers, payers, and other stakeholders are doing what they can to prepare staff. Those that can afford it will try to teach both ICD-10 and ICD-9.

Health systems, payers and vendors aren't the only sectors in healthcare that are scrambling with the unexpected ICD-10 delay of at least one year imposed by Congress late last month.

Accrediting agencies and community colleges across the nation that were setting the curriculum and teaching the new medical coding set to about 40,000 students in anticipation of the Oct. 1, 2014 implementation have been forced to re-introduce the older ICD-9 code set. Many of those ICD-10 trainees now find their job prospects in limbo for at least a year.

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management announced shortly after the delay was mandated that it would hold off on testing for ICD-10 accreditation until the new coding set is "officially implemented."

"We were in good faith trying to prepare our students for the workforce that we knew was going to come about with ICD-10," says American Health Information Management Association CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon. "So instead of having our workforce ready ahead of time, which I think is better, we are saying 'now once you change it, we will test.'"

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