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

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 11, 2012

It is the all-too-common bifurcations like this within healthcare IT that make the rich coding provided by ICD-10 so important, not just for satisfying the demands of payers who want ever more billing detail, but to exchange anatomically precise clinical data between different types of hospitals in the same system.

Korzdorfer plans to deploy ICD-10 in both systems at the same time.  The work  starts with an extensive evaluation of the skill levels of staff in areas of pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, and basic terminology. The skill set ranges from coders with one or two years' experience to some who have coded for more than 30 years, she says.

The education component seems like the biggest piece of ICD-10 to me. Hospitals might have some staff who are familiar with the cardiovascular system, but need further help mastering the integumentary system. Korzdorfer says it will take this whole year to get staff the kind of supplemental education needed to prepare for ICD-10.

Like so many others I've spoken with, Korzdorfer says preparation is proceeding as if the original 2013 go-live with ICD-10 were still the case, rather than the 2014 date recently formalized by CMS. But that sound you hear is the feet still being dragged at too many provider institutions.

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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!"