KLAS: HIM strategies in flux due to overlap of ICD-10 with other efforts

Providers worried about the overlap of ICD-10 efforts and the implementation of other health information management technologies are reassessing strategies for the former, with some turning to third-party services for help, particularly for efforts like transcription, according to a new report published by Orem, Utah-based KLAS. The report gives a glimpse into current concerns of providers, while at the same time providing assessments about which vendors best help them to tackle those concerns.

Of 438 total respondents, 34 percent say that technology implementation is their biggest HIM department challenge; 27 percent, meanwhile, say that keeping up with regulations like ICD-10 and Meaningful Use is the biggest challenge. "With ICD-10 and Meaningful Use converging at the same time, along with reduced reimbursements and other regulatory changes descending upon healthcare organizations, HIM challenges will only continue to mount," the report says.

"The biggest challenge that we are facing in the HIM department is the healthcare reform and decreasing revenue streams from government payers and how that impacts our ability to staff well enough to meet our functions," one HIM director interviewed in the report says.

David L. Miller, CIO at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said in a post last month to Hospitals & Health Networks that while he thinks ICD-10 is just another unfunded mandate, there are several benefits that the switch could prompt. Patient care, for instance, will improve with the increased specificity of the new code set, as the number of diagnosis codes increases, he said.

Last August, the ICD-10 deadline was pushed back one year, from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2014.

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