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ICD-10 Proponents Cry Foul

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 1, 2012

Bowman refers to comments by Lyman Sornberger, executive director of revenue cycle management for the Cleveland Clinic Health System in the ICD-10 Monitor, saying his organization will spend $26 million for full adoption of ICD-10 transition. If there's a delay, Cleveland Clinic will end up spending $37 million, or $11 million more.

Bowman says organization leaders tell her more money will be spent because they'll have to do things twice, cancel or extend contracts, and relaunch new training programs for whatever new start date is determined. If they train too soon, coders may forget what they learned. They also may have to maintain two systems simultaneously, perhaps revisit the vendor selection process.

To get better data, AHIMA is now sending a survey to its members "to learn how much their organizations have already spent on ICD-10 and how much different lengths of delay would cost them additionally," Bowman says.  "There are people who in good faith started working diligently when the rule first came out, and are now being smacked down, essentially," she says.

John Casillas, HIMSS senior vice president, tells me his group is "holding fast to the notion that October, 2013 is going to be the drop dead date, with the understanding, though, that this might be a good time to discuss a transition period." Casillas says he interprets Sebelius' statement to mean HHS might delay for some providers that can demonstrate implementation hardship, but not others, though the mechanics of how that would work are confounding.

Bowman adds that other than the American Medical Association's top leadership, which vociferously and successfully opposed the October 2013 switch date, she doesn't know where other opposition is coming from.

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