ICD-10 implementation: Examining the potential aftermath | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

It's up to health information management leaders to help their facilities understand what to expect when the ICD-10 deadline hits Oct. 1, six months after that and beyond, according to anarticle published in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association.

The article examines what doctors and hospitals can expect beyond October in three phases:

  • Implementation to six months: A drop in coder productivity is expected across the board, though facilities that have practiced dual coding or engaged in end-to-end testing will be much better off, the article notes. There's a big difference between learning a coding system and being able to understand clinical factors of a diagnosis. Pat Maccariella-Hafey, director of education at Health Information Associates, says organizations should focus on making sure coders have a strong understanding of the guidelines of ICD root operations. Training should continue well after Oct. 1, and HIM departments will need to be prepared to defend their code assignments for accurate and timely reimbursement.
  • One to five years post-implementation: Sandra Kersten, a senior consultant for eCatalyst Healthcare Solutions currently assigned as an ICD-10 project manager at a Chicago-area hospital, foresees a permanent reduction in coder productivity, making it a smart move for hospitals to invest in extra coders. This is an opportunity for students and less-experienced coders, according to the article, because no one will have that much experience with ICD-10. Maccariella-Hafey foresees coders becoming more educated in the clinical aspects of medicine and surgery. And the benefits of more precise, accurate data from ICD-10 are expected to be felt within the overall healthcare system as well, providing a better view of the quality of patient care and patient self-management.
  • Five to 10 years later: A major expectation about ICD-10 is that it will help stimulate programs like patient-centered medical homes, value-based purchasing, and accountable care organizations by giving the government and care management organizations better data to work with. Everyone stands to benefit from improved data quality, according to Maccariella-Hafey. Researchers and public health-monitoring organizations are expected to be able to compare data apples to apples for global disease monitoring.

Some organizations still believe there will be another ICD-10 delay, while the American Medical Association has backed legislation to ban the implementation altogether.

In addition, House lawmakers are calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to make any ICD-10 contingency plan they may have public.