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Failing to Prep for ICD-10 Will Cost You

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2013

With ICD-10 implementation now less than a year away, hospitals and health systems should be deep into transition planning. NYU Langone Medical Center has hired coders, installed training software, and called on physician leaders.

With just less than a year to go before ICD-10 is implemented on Oct. 1, 2014, hospitals and health systems should be deep into their planning to transition to the new code set if they want to avoid a prolonged financial setback.

Although the American Medical Association is still calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for another delay, none of the healthcare executives I've spoken to recently about ICD-10 expects to get more time. Instead of hoping for a long shot, they are busy preparing for the transition, because they know how important it is to give their organizations enough time to staff up, train coders and clinicians, make the necessary IT enhancements, and test, test, test.

Getting ready for the conversion is a time-intensive and costly endeavor. Michael Burke, CFO at New York University Langone Medical Center, a four-hospital system based in Manhattan, says his organization will spend between $25 million and $30 million over a three-year period to transition to ICD-10.

"The project is funded as part of our capital budget process," he says, noting that when CMS announced the one-year pushback from the previous implementation date of Oct. 1, 2013, NYU Langone stayed the course and kept its focus.

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