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

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 1, 2014

On listservs he monitors, which include "quite a few physicians," he's noticed comments like this: "If we're going to delay a year, and ICD-11 really isn't that far away and it's what the doctors want with SNOMED anyway, is this just one delay until the next delay, and then we jump from ICD-9 to ICD-11?"

"It may make sense to just combine it into one effort. I don't know what the wait [for ICD-11] would be and what the trickle effect of issues are. I don't even know if you can go from ICD-9 to ICD-11, [or] if you have to go from nine to 10 and then 10 to 11.

I told Branzell I had looked into this and it seemed like it was much easier to go to ICD-10 first.

"I think it has to do with the documentation requirements. It's much more intuitive for a physician to code and document into a SNOMED environment."

So while the industry fulminates about the underhanded way the newest ICD-10 delay has made its way into the law books, and the cost of delaying the transition are re-tallied, it would be prudent for us to take a moment to also look around and see just how another 12-month delay re-shuffles the deck in the complex game of healthcare IT and payments.

I'm certain that's what U.S. healthcare's CIOs will be doing for the next few days or weeks.


Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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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