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ICD-10 Transition Should be Major Focus Now

Greg Freeman, July 22, 2013

The report found that more than 50% of survey respondents in fall 2012 still were in the beginning stages of ICD-10 implementation and 25% of respondents' organizations had not yet formed an ICD-10 steering committee. Thirty percent of surveyed teaching community hospitals and academic medical centers reported that they regularly met with their ICD-10 steering committee and were moving through their project plans at an acceptable speed, and 17% of other types of hospitals reported that their ICD-10 conversion plans were underway.

Physician groups must start by assessing their current situation and soliciting buy-in from key players, Stilley says.

"The physicians and practice leaders need to understand the urgency of transitioning to ICD-10," she says. "You will not get the financial backing and the other support you need until the people who really control the purse strings have that sense of urgency."

Documentation may not be good enough
Stilley next encourages practices to look at their clinical documentation to assess whether in its current state it would provide a thorough, credible account of patient care. That might seem like an obvious requirement for documentation, but Stilley says the documentation currently used by some practices will not be detailed enough to support the more expansive coding of ICD-10.

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