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ICD-10 compliance grows in importance as deadline nears

May 07, 2013
Healthcare Consulting By LW Consulting Inc.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stood by its previous announcement that ICD-10 implementation must be completed by October 1, 2014. However, research continues to show that healthcare organizations are having difficulty in the transition away from ICD-9 coding.

The University of Illinois at Chicago recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association showing that the two mapping files - ICD-9 to ICD-10 and vice versa - are not necessarily reciprocal. Essentially, one classification could exist in one coding version, and not exist at all within the other.

Some experts believe that reasons like this are preventing medical facilities from making a smooth transition into ICD-10 compliance.

Additionally, a survey from The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) found that the healthcare industry is not progressing well enough as a whole, and that some facilities are falling behind.

Jim Daley, WEDI Chairman, said in a press release that results show how timeframes have shifted, and many organizations will not begin to move into ICD-10 coding until 2014.

For example, half of the providers responded that they did not know when testing would occur and over two-fifths indicated they did not know when they would complete their impact assessment and business changes.

"Because of the magnitude of ICD-10 it is critical that organizations complete their remediation efforts as quickly as possible in order to allow adequate time for testing," he said. 

Reasons like this are why it is essential to have strong healthcare IT consulting services available. The professionals can help doctors, nurses and technicians remain up-to-date on any changes, and what must be done to keep their facility current while still highlighting quality patient care.