Sept. 21, 2011, CHICAGO - As this week's passing of the Fall Equinox heralds the transition from one season into the next, so too is the clock running out for health care organizations that have yet to complete their planning and preparation for the impending transition to the ICD-10 coding system. The good news, according to AHIMA's recent survey on ICD-10 compliance, is that the number of organizations behind the curve for implementation is rapidly shrinking.
Results of the survey, conducted in August, show 85% of respondents indicate they have begun work on ICD-10 planning and implementation, up from 62% reported a year ago; and well above the 55% reported 6 months before that, in April 2010. According to the most recent survey, organizations are also further along in creating ICD-10 budgets and assessing training needs for staff.
AHIMA has been leading the effort to push the health information industry ahead of the curve in upgrading to ICD-10 by providing detailed step-by-step guidelines, including implementation milestones, recommended impact analyses to determine budgeting and training levels needed, numerous opportunities for training, including "Training the Trainer" programs, and surveying the industry to monitor the progress of steps toward implementation and readiness.
A smooth, successful transition by the October 1, 2013, compliance date requires a well-planned and well-managed ICD-10 implementation process. Because the scope and complexity of the transition are significant, it is critical for organizations to plan their implementation strategies carefully in order to leverage ICD-10 investments and move beyond mere compliance to attain a strategic advantage. Organizations that are not prepared could face major billing headaches and loss of compensation since claims submitted after the October 2013 deadline not using the upgraded coding language will be rejected.
While survey results show more organizations have at least started conducting impact analyses, much work remains to be done and more changes are needed as only 49% report having started making changes based on their assessments. Also of note, AHIMA gained top mention as the preferred provider of training resources for most respondents (85.7% of respondents working in inpatient settings such as acute care organizations and 71.7% of respondents in other settings such as private physician practices).
Representing more than 63,000 specially educated Health Information Management professionals in the United States and around the world, the American Health Information Management Association is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA's enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information. www.ahima.org