The ICD-10 deadline is not as far away as you may think.
The conversion from ICD-9 has become the most urgent need in today’s healthcare community. And although all formats of healthcare media are promoting how to get ready for ICD-10, too many practices and hospitals are behind in the implementation /conversion process. Why is that? Many practices are distracted by decisions about business models, valuations of their practices and retirement decisions of baby boomer physicians. The Affordable Care Act has practices struggling to understand their role in that legislation while payers re-configure healthcare plans to meet the ACA standards. No small distractions and of course not to be taken lightly. IT demands are reforming healthcare as the demands for collection, storage, retrievability and the sharing of secure patient records appropriately requires strategic planning and expense.
Everyone began implementation plans, and then tucked them away when the meaningful use and the Affordable Health Care law became realities that could not be ignored. There is no question that the healthcare industry already has full plates, but room for ICD-10 can no longer be ignored. The ICD-10 deadline, while it has been postponed and may be yet again, will still be looming over many practices if proper haste is not given to the subject.
Because of the extent of impact, ICD-10 conversion should be considered much like the Y2k conversion as every data system (internal systems like EHRs and practice management systems and ancillary systems and external systems like clearing houses and payers, lab and radiology systems) will be affected. The scope of difference between ICD-9 and ICD-10 is well published. The increase in numbers of available codes from 13,000 to 68,000 with greater specificity and clinical information should cause practices to scramble for understanding and training.
To learn more about ICD-10 conversion milestones and where you should be in the process, download the FREE resource: The ICD-10 Conversion: Are You on Track?