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ICD-10 Delay No License to Chill

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media, February 21, 2012

To healthcare executives charged with meeting the compliance deadline for ICD-10, last week's announcement must have come as sweet relief.  The heavy yoke of the impending deadline was mercifully lifted by Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The reasons behind the move had less to do with concerns about any technological hurdles than "about the administrative burdens [healthcare providers] face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to re-examine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our healthcare system," Sebelius explained in a media statement.

So CIOs and their colleagues are, for now, off the hook for ICD-10. But they're still responsible for a great deal of other important work including the

  • implementation of electronic medical records
  • pursuit of meaningful use attestation
  • continual responsibilities associated with protecting patient data and adhering to HIPAA and HITECH compliance
  • implementation of  computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems

None of these tasks is simple or inexpensive, federal monetary incentives notwithstanding.  In fact, among healthcare executives, information technology is one of the top three drivers of health costs, the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2012 shows.

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