D'Arcy Gue

Why ICD-10 Is Not Going Away — and How You Can Prepare

September 23, 2014

ICD-10 3 Minute Read

The two delays of the ICD-10 implementation deadline have generated strong doubts within the health IT industry about ICD-10’s future. Some providers are skeptical that the recently announced third deadline  of October 1, 2015 will actually be upheld by the government. Nevertheless, we’re here to tell you that the new deadline is real and that it’s imperative that your organization get to work planning, training, and testing to be ready one year from now.

Why Is the New Deadline Real?

Health care reform and Meaningful Use / MIPS need ICD-10.

The power of ICD-10-based data reporting is necessary achieve the goals that Congress and the President have defined for the future of healthcare. For example, the interoperability of systems across the country required by Meaningful Use / MIPS initiatives will only be as valuable as the detail about diagnoses and procedures that the systems can provide. Similarly, the federal government’s trajectory towards achieving true population health management will be road-blocked without ICD-10’s highly granular reporting and analysis capabilities.

Skipping to ICD-11 isn’t going to happen.

The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to introduce the ICD-11 code set in May 2017. After ICD-11 is released, it will take years to develop the clinical modifications and associated procedure coding standards, and then several more years to implement the code set. The government and health care organizations aren’t going to wait that long to upgrade code sets.

CMS needs ICD-10.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has committed to a fiscal year-based strategy for ICD-10, and it doesn’t have the money or the time to change plans. It needs to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 on the first day of the fiscal year so it doesn’t have to deal with two code sets in the same fiscal year. The number of government programs that are driven by coded and billed data makes the logistics of developing systems, processes, and policies to properly span fiscal years virtually impossible. CMS has clearly indicated that holding Congress to its one-year delay is the best option for minimizing costs and impacts to the industry.

 What Should You Be Doing About the New Deadline?

Take advantage of the extra time! If your organization was behind on ICD-10, the delay to October 1, 2015 has provided a superb opportunity to recalibrate and implement ICD-10 more effectively. However, your organization, like many others, may have halted conversion efforts when Congress announced the delay earlier this year. If you haven’t already used this time to start catching up, start doing it now — or you will find yourself once again back in a last-minute rush mode. Your organization needs to get back to the business of converting to ICD-10 while there’s enough time to get it done right!

To get your implementation back on track, we suggest that you watch our How to Re-Strategize for a Successful Conversion webinar. The webinar addresses the challenges you can expect and provides guidance on how to ensure the smoothest possible conversion, by restructuring your strategy in eleven areas.

Watch the webinar or contact us if you think you need assistance with your conversion.

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