Four Courses Of Action To Respond To ICD-10 Delay

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The ICD-10 implementation deadline has once again been extended. Organizations now have until October 1, 2015 to comply with the healthcare coding system. A recent article written by Accenture describes how the delay might affect organizations. “For some organizations, the delay may be welcome. Moving from ICD-9, the current system, to ICD-10, requires them to replace some 14,000 codes with around 68,000 new ones.” Organizations vary in their levels of ICD-10 readiness. It is important that your organization is prepared and aware of the ICD-10 compliance requirements.

Many organizations have “been simultaneously implementing electronic medical record systems that takes account of the new codes.” ICD-10 is not specifically targeted at payment systems, but innovative health care organizations have begun to notice the relationship. Regardless of your organization’s readiness, “the delay does give extra time for remediation and testing, including external testing, as well as giving providers longer to comply with the meaningful use directive.”

The article concludes by providing health care organizations with four (4) ICD-10 “contingency options.” 1) Stay the Course, 2) Slow down, 3) Be pragmatic, or 4) Stop. Each individual health care organization must assess how the delay affects their strategy, resources, and objectives moving forward. It will be interesting to see if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will stick with their October 1, 2015 implementation deadline, or keep pushing back the date.

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