EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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While US Focuses on ICD-10 Transition, WHO Prepares ICD-11

While US Focuses on ICD-10 Transition, WHO Prepares ICD-11 | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

The ICD-10 transition is inevitable, as the current ICD-9 coding system is very out of date. The ICD-9 coding set was implemented in the 1970s and contains information that is incompatible with current medical practice, according to a fact sheet from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Many other nations around the world have already made the switch to ICD-10 coding. The ICD-10 transition will bring more opportunity for code expansion and enabling physicians to provide accurate diagnoses.

Since so many players in the medical industry use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) including physicians, nurses, health IT professionals, billers, coders, and insurers, moving forward to the most accurate set available today is essential.

Clearly, transitioning effectively to the new coding set is a necessity, which is why CMS offers a variety of resources to ensure a successful ICD-10 integration across the healthcare industry. The Road to 10 website, for example, provides a customized plan for physician practices to adopt the coding set and new technologies that are relevant to their needs.

Whether a hospital or clinic specializes in pediatric care, OB-GYN, cardiology, or internal medicine, the Road to 10 online resource offers tailored ICD-10 transition strategies for any and all medical facilities.

Additionally, CMS provided this flyer to educate providers, payers, and vendors on the ICD-10 transition. Vendors, especially, will need to work with healthcare providers to install and implement equipment that meets the requirements of the new coding set.

Since many other countries have already adopted ICD-10 coding, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the release date for the next updated coding set, ICD-11, will be in 2017. WHO also offers ICD-10 training tools for providers and payers to become more educated in time for the October 1 deadline.

WHO reports that the ICD is being further advanced and developed through the next phase of ICD-11 in order to maintain the progress in medical care and among physicians. Due to the increasing capabilities of EHRs and health IT systems, the ICD-11 coding set will also be a useful addition.

The organization also states that entities will be able to access the ICD-11 coding set in multiple languages. Signs, symptoms, and definitions of disease will be reported “in a structured way” so as to improve accuracy.

ICD-11 will also be tailored for the transition to health IT systems and information networks. WHO also invites coding experts and other stakeholders to comment on the new ICD-11 developments through an online platform.

While the US healthcare system is still preparing to move forward with the ICD-10 transition, the WHO encourages experts across the globe to comment on and propose better classifications for ICD-11.

“The input from multiple parties will increase consistency, comparability and utility of the classification,” the WHO stated. “This shared process will lead to a global consensus on how diseases and health-related problems are defined and recorded.”

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Hoping for ICD-11 is “Waiting for Godot,” ICD-10 Coalition Says

Hoping for ICD-11 is “Waiting for Godot,” ICD-10 Coalition Says | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Clinging on to the current outdated ICD-9 code system until ICD-11 is ready for use at some unspecified point in the future is akin to the endless idle loitering of Vladimir and Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s classic play Waiting for Godot, says the Coalition for ICD-10 in a new opinion piece.  After waiting more than twenty years for the implementation of ICD-10, the healthcare industry simply cannot afford another two or three decades for the newest code set to be finalized and ready for use.

“Based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) current timeline, ICD-11 is expected to be finalized and released in 2017,” the commentary explains. “For the US, however, that date is the beginning, not the end.  As with every WHO version of the ICD codes, ICD-11 would need to be adapted to meet the detailed payment policy, quality assessment and other regulatory requirements of US stakeholders.”  The country could be waiting until 2041 for the entire pre-implementation process to be completed, the Coalition adds.

Meanwhile, the healthcare industry will be forced to continue to use a significantly outdated code set that cannot account for many emerging health threats or new advances in technologies, diagnoses, and procedures.  That’s just fine with representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA), whose House of Delegates voted to reject an internal report noting that implementing the changes inherent in ICD-10 would provide an important foundation for the eventual adoption of ICD-11.  The report concluded that skipping ICD-10 all together was “not recommended” as a viable course of action, yet the AMA continues its resistance to the ICD-10 codes – and the Coalition continues to fight back against their reticence.

“The US simply cannot wait decades to replace ICD-9, a code set that was developed nearly 40 years ago,” the Coalition states. “US healthcare data is deteriorating while at the same time demand is increasing for high-quality data to support healthcare initiatives such as the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program, value-based purchasing, and other initiatives aimed at improving quality and patient safety and decreasing costs.”

The AMA argues that the expense of ICD-10 implementation is overwhelming for smaller physicians struggling keep their doors open, pinning the costs at anywhere from $50,000 to $225,000 for a small provider.  Despite contradictions from AHIMA, the cost of the switch has been a major selling point for opponents.

However, after two one-year delays, the tide seems to be turning in support of ICD-10.  Not only is the Coalition growing, but Congress has stepped in to enforce the idea of a 2015 due date.  Will the wait for Godot be over in October?  The Coalition would certainly like to see an end to the “unending barrage of excuses” and continual delays.

“Waiting for ICD-11 is simply not a viable option,” the blog post concludes. “The absurdity of the endless waiting in Waiting for Godot culminates in frustration: “Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance!” Yes, the wait needs to be over. It’s time to stop wasting time. It’s time to get ICD-10 implemented.”

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It's not too early to start hating ICD-11 coding

It's not too early to start hating ICD-11 coding | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Just in case you were wondering, ICD-11 will not be a substitute for ICD-10 implementation. Joyce Frieden reminds us that ICD-11 is expected for release in 2017.

Note that an ICD-11 release doesn't mean it's good to go. Release means healthcare professionals can start reviewing it and learning it.

Since it's supposed to be based upon ICD-10-CM, there will be plenty for U.S. healthcare organizations to complain about. So there will be tweaking.

And of course there will be the campaign to delay ICD-11 implementation because ICD-12 coding will be so much better.

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