HIMSS group calls for more ICD-10 support

The HIMSS G7 group is laying out a proposed path to help the industry transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, including designating two federal agencies and two trade groups to manage questions about the new code set.

In its "call to action" for implementing ICD-10 by the compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2014, the group made four recommendations:

  • Achieve broad stakeholder support for an ICD-10 pilot program with end-to-end business process testing, including creating up to four virtual ICD-10 Solutions Centers to test alternative implementation approaches and measure impacts, needs, costs and outcomes.

  • Accelerate vendor readiness supporting health plans, providers and other vendors, including exploring ways to include milestones to measure vendor progress and readiness.

  • Significantly expand education focused on independent physician groups and providers, including actively engaging at least 20 percent of those providers by the end of this year with comprehensive educational tools and resources.

  • Recognize the cooperating parties of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Center for Health Statistics, the American Hospital Association and the American Health Information Management Association as the "single source of truth" for accurate and consistent coding. The parties should prepare to handle large volumes of questions and provide answers "in days, not weeks."

"HIPAA implementation experiences have taught the healthcare industry that a more organized and structured process for achieving implementation is needed," the HIMSS G7 group said in its call-to-action paper released this week. "Experience with adopting various HIPAA standards suggests that simply setting a compliance date and hoping that it will be met, without additional guidance on how to get there, will lead to a protracted and inefficient implementation process."

Although larger healthcare providers are well on their way to implementing ICD-10 by the deadline, smaller providers, health plans and vendors will need assistance, says the group, convened by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and endorsed by the World Bank.

AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, whose organization is recommended as one of the "single source of truth" organizations, recently told FierceHealthIT that healthcare organizations must shift more attention to ICD-10 compliance.

"We all know that it is human nature to procrastinate," she said. "But now that a firm implementation deadline has been set, the entire healthcare community has the certainty it needs to continue to move forward with implementation, testing and training."

To learn more:
- read the call to action

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