Hospital CEO: ICD-10 delays 'shackle' promise of big data

The delay to implement ICD-10 has put the nation's children at risk, according to Nemours Children's Health System CEO David Bailey, M.D., who writes in The Hill that the coding system must be implemented.

ICD-9, he says, does not allow for specifying a condition's precise location--for instance, right eye, left eye, hand, leg. This, he continues, has left physicians and researchers unable to share important data and knowledge that could improve lives. He adds that transitioning to the new system will give doctors the ability to make better diagnoses and better describe patient progress.

"The updated version has long been used internationally and would be a vital step forward for patients in improving quality measurement, clinical research, and public health surveillance," Bailey writes.  

Currently, ICD-10 must be implemented by Oct. 1 of this year, after being delayed numerous times.

While some, like Bailey, have come out in support of no further delays, others are still looking to move the deadline back. In addition, Rep. Ted Poe of Texas recently introduced a bill to Congress that wouldn't simply delay the new codeset; it would ban its use outright.

Bailey says the delay has "shackled" the promise of big data "by not having the ability to capture more robust information and provide the best care for children and adults."

"As healthcare providers and as a nation, we have an obligation to our patients to insist on no further delays," he says.

To learn more:
- read Bailey's commentary