Continue training, testing to maintain ICD-10 momentum

Healthcare organizations should use the extra time afforded by the delay of ICD-10 to conduct more testing and training and to maintain the momentum they've developed thus far, according to AHIMA officials, CIOs and consultants.

"I think the biggest concern that I have involves most of our clients keeping that level of engagement," Mary Beth Haugen, president of Haugen Consulting, said in an AHIMA article.

Other advice from the article:

  • Keep physicians practicing clinical documentation--especially in the emergency department
  • Keep coders working with the new code set
  • Seek out payers willing to do claims testing 

There are widespread concerns that the delay will increase the expense of implementing the new ICD-10 code set and that further delays will follow.

Wesley Wright, CIO at Seattle Children's Hospital, referred to the delay as the "boy who cried wolf," as FierceHealthIT recently reported. Wright said he's evaluating how much it will cost to extend ICD-10 training for yet another year.

But, he added, the cumulative impact of the delays have made it difficult to sell staff on the fact that this delay will be the last one.

Meanwhile, Robert Tennant, a senior policy advisor for government affairs with the Medical Group Management Association, told FierceHealthIT recently that Medicare should be doing end-to-end testing with any willing partner.

"The more testing that is completed and the more the results of that testing are disseminated, the better chance the industry has of a successful transition. If any one of the critical links in the chain are not ready then practices themselves cannot be ready," he said.

There are indications the training is going well: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services just announced that it accepted 89 percent of ICD-10 claims from testing in March with providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses.

To learn more:
- read the AHIMA article

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