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ICD-10: Time's Up; No More Excuses

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 11, 2012

As worrisome as the final deadlines for use of ICD-10 codes are, it's time to devote significant resources to getting ready for them.

Belittled in some quarters as a make-work, vendor-enriching government regulation, ICD-10 actually gets right to the heart of improving the quality of care.

Don't take my word for it, even if you read my recent story in HealthLeaders magazine. Listen to Sharon Korzdorfer, director of information management at St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City.

St. Luke's is a not-for-profit, acute-care, tertiary academic teaching institution with more than 600 beds. It is one hospital out of an 11-hospital health system. Eight of the facilities run McKesson EMRs, and the three critical-access hospitals use CPSI, a platform designed specifically for critical access hospitals, with a completely different billing process to McKesson's.

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4 comments on "ICD-10: Time's Up; No More Excuses"


Dr Jeremy A Lazarus (9/14/2012 at 3:44 PM)
The article's theory regarding the AMA's opposition to ICD-10 implementation is unfounded and unsubstantiated. The true basis of the AMA's policy has already been accurately reported by HealthLeaders (http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/NRS-273412/ICD10-Cost-Timing-Concerns-Explain-AMA-Vote) and other publications when physicians passed a directive instructing the AMA to intervene on their behalf. The timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse. Physicians are spending significant financial and administrative resources to cope with overlapping regulatory requirements and multiple government programs that include penalties for noncompliance. At the same time, physicians face a continued threat of drastic Medicare payments cuts year after year. The mounting burdens take time away from patient care. Burdens on physician practices need to be reduced - not created - as we work to get the best value possible for the health care dollar and the nation undertakes significant payment and delivery reforms. The AMA will continue to urge the government to make good on its commitment to improve the regulatory climate for physicians. In the meantime, physicians need to understand the impact ICD-10 will have on their practices, and the AMA has devoted considerable effort to educational programs and resources to get them ready (http://www.ama-assn.org/go/ICD-10). Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. President, American Medical Association

Mimi Hart (9/14/2012 at 9:46 AM)
I must have missed a step..what happens under ICD-10 to the CPT system that the AMA would not be happy with?

usausa (9/12/2012 at 5:32 PM)
In the past 20 years I have headed up the coding section at 3 large hospitals, one for profit, one not for profit and now a University setting. In none of these hospitals were Physicians ready (or willing) to document to the extent ICD-10 will require and coders are NOT prepared to code to the level ICD-10 will require. It will be the unprepared leading the recalcitrant and revenues will drop like a rock. With electronic health records, Obamacare, and RACs already devastating what little revenues hospitals and physician's offices have, the smartest thing done to date was to postpone ICD-10,and that needs to be for TWO years not one. The commentators in favor of ICD-10, in my opinion, unanmously appear to benefit from the implementation in some way. Those of us who will be on the front lines can see what is going to happen, and it is our opinion that the entire medical profession(and the patients we serve) need to "Be afraid - be very afraid!"