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Latest ICD-10 Delay Re-shuffles the Deck, Irritates Players

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 1, 2014

"If you look at the mapping of going from ICD-9 to ICD-10, that's much harder than going from ICD-10 back to ICD-9," Branzell says. "Actually I had a discussion with some people today about that. I'd be surprised if, with some exploration, that isn't part of the toolkits brought out for people and suggestions that come out, whether that be from other associations, or ours, or whatever, as a viable option to stay on track, keep your people trained, and just automate back.

"So, if there are, say, 27 codes for a sprained ankle in ICD-10, and there are only one or two in ICD-9, it's pretty easy to backtrack to ICD-9."

I suggested to Branzell that based on a story I wrote last month about CDI in HealthLeaders magazine, coding for ICD-10 now is also consistent with the kind of coding rigor that SNOMED is striving for. In other words, if you're going to stay on track with SNOMED, you're going to be doing better coding anyway.

But Branzell noted that the extra year of delay will raise the specter again of the entire industry waiting a few extra years to move to ICD-11, which is due to be published in 2015.

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1 comments on "Latest ICD-10 Delay Re-shuffles the Deck, Irritates Players"


Heather Haugen (4/2/2014 at 9:03 PM)
Interesting conversation. We have been hosting focus groups with CHIME CIOs to understand how the delay will impact progress toward ICD-10. The feedback suggests the delay will slow momentum for larger organizations that were on track for Oct. 1, 2014, but does offer additional time for smaller physician practices and hospitals that weren't going to make the deadline – as well as EHR vendors to ensure their applications are ready. My recommendation is that organizations not delay their preparation, but they do have to rethink their plans to accomodate a delay in timing.ICD-10 must remain a top priority. As for the viability of moving straight to ICD-11, I agree ICD-11 is ultimately where we need to be; however, many of us believe ICD-10 is an important stepping stone due to the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-11. – Dr. Heather Haugen, managing director of The Breakaway Group, A Xerox Company