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CMS Silence on ICD-10 Holds Healthcare Hostage

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 8, 2014

The news just gets worse. "Every expert in the industry has been advising people to do more than just treat this as a software upgrade, because there were, or there are, potential business benefits to be gained, but only if you actually embed ICD-10 coding into your business processes," says Jordan Battani, who runs a think tank on regulatory changes and trends for Computer Sciences Corporation, a systems integrator.

How long will it take CMS to figure out its part? "I don't know," Battani told me, "and I'm really glad I don't work there this week."

Another consultant, like Battani, is urging his provider clients to pause, take stock of their ICD-10 efforts, and redeploy resources to more pressing tasks if possible, until CMS has weighed in.

"A lot of the clinical documentation in ICD-9 was not all accurate," says Fletcher Lance, national healthcare leader and vice president of global consulting firm North Highland. "There was about a 20, 25 percent error rate there, so we're encouraging clients to go back and work on that, and protect that revenue and get the coding right in this interim period as a very practical step as something to do while we learn more from CMS."

A Silver Lining #JustKidding
In the midst of all this uncertainty, on the eve of April Fools' Day, former ONC head Farzad Mostashari tweeted, "Only silver lining to the #ICD10delays? Putting to bed the over-used 'perfect storm' mantra."

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1 comments on "CMS Silence on ICD-10 Holds Healthcare Hostage"

Frank Poggio (4/8/2014 at 5:49 PM)
Developing and implementing systems such as ICD10 require structure and predictability. Politics requires neither. If our politicians had to do real work for a living instead of just jabbering and please their biggest lobby things would get done much faster and better. And as for that snide remark from Dr. M about no more perfect storm analogy, now its a perfect tsunami! If he's so smart he should have stayed in CMS and not run for the door when things started getting rough.