This post written by Gina Homminga – www.codinglink.com
I’ve worked as a HIM coder for almost 20 years. Our industry has talked about the conversion of ICD-9 to ICD-10 for my whole career. I am very practical and really didn’t see the Feds spending the gobs of money required to make this conversion. I became fatigue by the warnings to prepare for ICD-10. We’ll it looks like it is actually going to happen! Even with the year delay the wheels are in motion for a 10-1-14 implementation date. Healthcare is obviously a politically-charged topic these days. I can see how ICD-10 could be thrown into the mix of Obamacare and have a realistic 2014 go-live. Marilyn Tavenner, the acting CMS administrator, reiterates the cost that has already been invested in this conversion and they plan on moving forward with ICD-10.
http://blogs.aafp.org/ — Mar 14
Tavenner also said that halting implementation at this point “would be costly, burdensome, and would eliminate the impending benefits” of the investments that many in the industry have already made with respect to implementation. CMS refuses to halt ICD-10-CM implementation.
It would be wise to take the 10/1/14 impmentation date serious and get prepared as there are many things to consider depending on your perspective.
- Coders get trained (or retire)
- Physicians clinical documentation improvement training
- Administrators prepare for bottlenecks in cash flow and delayed claims
- Physician Practices should get office manager trained and be prepared to invest in necessary software and consulting services.
- Third-Party Payers update/redesign systems and test
- Consultants ride the wave of opportunity and get trained.
CMS has created ICD-10 implementation timelines and checklists for physician practices, hospitals and payers.
Let me know what tools or services you have found to be a worthwhile investment.