Despite a one-year extension, many covered entities are still unlikely to achieve compliance with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision(ICD-10), barring a change in their implementation strategy, this according to a recent report from the Health Information and Managements Systems Society (HIMSS). The recently published “Implementing ICD-10 by the Compliance Date: A Call to Action” lays out a plan for achieving ICD-10 compliance by the new deadline: Oct. 1, 2014. In particular, HIMSS G7, the leadership group charged with assessing obstacles in the way of ICD-10 compliance, has identified four areas key to ensure that providers are ready by October 2014.nnCreate and receive support for four regional ICD-10 Solution Centers: “The breadth and scope of ICD-10 changes necessitate the testing of business processes as well as IT systems,” indicate the authors of the G7 Advisory Report. Regional support would enable the sharing of best practices to help implementers of ICD-10 overcome obstacles unique to their areas of practice. Moreover, covered entities would have the opportunity to participate in end-to-end testing, perhaps the most crucial component of the implementation process and one that is often not afforded enough resources (i.e., time.)n
nnProvide vendors with tools to assess readiness: ICD-10 compliance requires the coordination of providers and vendors. In order to avoid the rejection of their claims, providers must work with vendors capable of processing them. HIMSS G7 calls for an accurate survey of vendor readiness that includes progress milestones and the adoption of ICD-10 readiness tools to measure preparedness and provide collaborative solutions.nnIncrease education for independent physicians and practices: According to a recent survey, HIMSS reported that approximately 90% of responding healthcare organizations expected to meet the original ICD-10 compliance deadline, Oct. 1, 2013. The same can’t be said ofsmall to mid-sized providers, who lag behind in their preparation for and implementation of ICD-10. The thought-leadership group seeks to address “a lack of comprehensive awareness of both the value of ICD-10 and the implementation requirements” by engaging more than 20% of these physicians through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) regional extension centers (RECs), medical specialty societies, and practice management vendors by year’s end.nnEstablish an authority for providing coding support and resources: The implementation of ICD-10 places strain on covered entities to expand their code base and reconsider their documentation. It’s to be expected that implementers will encounter a whole slew of challenges requiring insight from authoritative resources capable of answering their questions. HIMSS G7 urges groups such as CMS, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), American Hospital Association (AMA), and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to come together as a “single source of truth” for approaches to coding correctly and accurately.nn
The implementation of ICD-10 will test the entire healthcare industry in terms of cost, time, and technology. Through proper planning and collaboration, more covered entities will achieve compliance and avoid future losses, which they likely can’t afford.
nSource: www.ehrintelligence.com; Kyle Murphy; October 10, 2012.