ICD-10 will continue to be a major topic of discussion over the next year as healthcare facilities and medical practices assess where they are on the path to transition. This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup has articles that discuss the latest progress in the ICD-10 transition process.
- Two Systems, One Direction at For the Record: "As many federal initiatives begin to converge across the health care landscape, the role of industry standards to support the movement toward higher quality care delivery has heightened. The transition to the ICD-10-CM classification system represents one critical standard that the industry currently is navigating. Another is the deployment and adoption of the former Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine, now referred to as SNOMED Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT), to comply with meaningful use. Industry professionals point out that while there is no direct relationship between these two systems, the potential for the pair to work together to impact care delivery is high. That’s why many experts suggest that health care organizations leverage the ICD-10-CM transition process as an opportunity to introduce SNOMED CT within their EHRs to lay the most effective foundation for future care delivery."
- Are We Making Progress With ICD-10 Preparedness? at EHR Intelligence: "Is there a glimmer of hope on the ICD-10 horizon? October’s preparedness survey conducted by Health Revenue Assurance Associates (HRAA) seems to indicate that providers are making some progress towards the October 1, 2014 transition date. The results showed modest increases in the number of organizations beginning staff training, dual coding, and clinical documentation improvement. One year away from the conversion, things are starting to get serious. While 60% of hospitals in April of 2013 had started ICD-10 CM training for their coding staff, an additional 18% have started to sit their coders down for education. Sixty-four percent have started PCS training, compared to 45% in April, and 17% of hospitals have added dual coding to the agenda in response to the warnings about productivity losses anticipated during go-live. 'It is clear that ICD-10 is happening, and significantly more hospitals have begun programs since April,' said Andrea Clark, Chairman and CEO of HRAA."
- ICD-10 Staffing Strategies at Health Leaders Media: "Healthcare providers need an ICD-10 strategy that includes adequately training medical coders and retaining them in their jobs. With an already extremely low unemployment rate, ICD-10 coders will be very much in demand. With the ICD-10 deadline a year away, hospitals and health systems are ramping up their staffing strategies to hire, train, and retain their medical coding workforce in time for next year's transition. But there are challenges to retraining a coding staff onto a system that's more complicated than the previous one, and to keeping those coders around once they're trained and in demand. With the shift to ICD-10 coming next year, providers need to have a plan so that they adequately train, but don't lose coders."
- Creating an ICD-10 Action Plan: Possible Effects and Office Awareness at Diagnostic Imaging: "If you are hoping the medical coding transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 won't really happen on Oct. 1, 2014, or won't have that much of an effect on your medical practice, you may want to think again. 'ICD-10 is here, so we have to deal with it,' said Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association's government affairs department, at the organization's recent annual conference in San Diego. Since the transition affects everyone in the chain of care from physicians to patients, Tennant advised medical practices to start creating an action plan and get staff trained sooner rather than later. And the first steps are to understand ICD-10 and its potential effect on your office."
- Short List of Clearinghouses Ready For ICD-10 Gets Longer at EHR Intelligence: "Clearinghouses are ramping up their efforts to get prepped for ICD-10, announcing their readiness to handle the new claims and begin testing at a steady rate. While providers may be lagging, vendors are sluggish, and payers face challenges of their own, the role of clearinghouses in the October 1, 2014 transition has come into sharp focus as the testing window of the pre-implementation period starts to get tighter. The clearinghouse occupies a pivotal position in the medical billing process, with thousands upon thousands of providers relying on the third-party service to handle relationships with their payers. While clearinghouses cannot select ICD-10 codes for a provider, they are crucial for the testing process. If a clearinghouse has problems, the link between the provider and payer dissolves, and no one gets paid. For that reason, clearinghouses are stepping up to urge testing of sample ICD-10 claims before the fall of 2014."
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