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ICD-10: Mandate and Opportunity

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, November 13, 2011
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“I think in general they understand the intent behind the changes, but for them it means more work and not much direct, personal return,” he says.

Cleveland Clinic staff has expressed initial understanding for the need for ICD-10, and they value the reasoning behind it, Sornberger says.

“[The clinical staff] has a great understanding of the implications of this change from a financial perspective or from a clinical benefit to the patient,” he says. “Whether you’re talking about ACOs or healthcare reform, we strongly believe this will support those initiatives.”

Gathering more data

The wealth of data generated by the thousands of ICD-10 codes will also provide healthcare leaders with an opportunity to better analyze care and ultimately improve outcomes.

The new information will improve quality, “but only after a pretty rough transition,” Walton says.

While the unprecedented amount of data has great potential, some leaders worry that it will be too much to be scrutinized efficiently.

“I think it’ll just be too much to deal with,” Vogel says. “It’s going to take more time to do the coding anyway and then to look back on what it’s showing us … I don’t think I’d take the time—and quite frankly I probably care more than a lot of people and am more interested in that kind of thing.”

CentraState Healthcare System in Freehold, NJ, has begun preparing
for ICD-10 by forming an interdisciplinary team committee led by the director of HIM and the assitant VP of patient accounts, but despite their progress, leaders worry that the benefits may not immediately outweigh
the disadvantages.

“There is apprehension regarding the magnitude of the change, and the possible costs to practices and the hospital,” says Indranil Ganguly, vice president and CIO for the 282-licensed-and-staffed-bed system. “Most agree that there will be better data available, but are concerned that their work to document care will be more time consuming.”

Cleveland Clinic leaders have a great deal of quality data that they plan to use as a baseline when the additional information from ICD-10 flows in, but it remains unclear how and to what extent the health system will use the new data to tailor care.

“It is our contention that ICD-10 will enhance the patient’s care and experience,” Sornberger says. “In the long term, the adoption of the ICD-10 will also promote the measurement of patients’ health and wellness
outcomes.”

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