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Possible ICD-10 Delay Nets Widespread Physician Support

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2012

Mike Smith, CIO at Lee Memorial Health System, in Fort Meyers, FL says healthcare providers and the federal government should have learned the lesson from the rush to implementation of the 5010 HIPAA transaction standards

"I think if we just observe with the 5010 implementation that these changes can have long-lived and unintended consequences," Smith says. "The ICD-10 schedule was established before meaningful use was even a thought. We just have a lot of things compressed at one time. For the best interests of patient safety and trying to handle things in an orderly fashion, it would be best for the industry that it be delayed a bit. There are a lot of good things with ICD-10 but still if you try to do too much too fast you are going to have negative unintended consequences."

Randy McCleese, CIO at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, KY says his hospital just isn't ready to make the switch. "ICD-10 definitely gives us a more granular approach that we need, but coming from a small rural hospital, we are just now putting the things in place that will allow us to get to that depth of detail," McCleese says. "I'd like to see it delayed two years. That would help tremendously."

Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor with Medical Group Management Association, says the problem isn't the implementation date, but the implementation process.

"It's not a question of pushing it back a year or two. It's the process itself. We have gone through this before with HIPAA 4010, and now 5010. There has to be a better way," he says.

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