Sutter Health to hit switch on ICD-10 early

With the deadline for switching to ICD-10 now just under a year away, Sutter Health has announced it will flip that switch next May 31.

The health system doesn't plan to submit claims to payers then, but will turn it on and doctors will be able to use it, Danielle Reno, ICD-10 program director for the health system, said at a session of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention.

It's unlikely that Sutter will be the only organization getting a head start, 3M Health Information Services vice president JaeLynn Williams told Government Health IT. She expects large systems in particular to go live earlier, though they might not announce it.

"I believe that no one who is on top of this planning actually thinks that October 1, 2014 will not be the real go-live date," Williams said.

Sutter took a multi-pronged approach, according to the article. It started by getting key staff and management on board, explaining timelines and the expected impact on budgets. In July, it made available a series of videos focusing on improving clinical documentation and made some employees change agents across 27 specialties.

It also enlisted physician champions to take what they learned back to their departments. Three weeks ago, it began offering peer training because physicians don't want someone outside their specialty training them.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., though it has not announced a go-live date, has coded 1,000 cases in both ICD-9 and ICD-10. Christine Armstrong, principal of Deloitte's ICD-10 practice, is urging organizations to do that.

"The lessons learned show that if you can even do a little bit of dual coding, even within the education modules, that is beneficial," Armstrong says in the article.

After a national ICD-10 pilot by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), they urged testing codes from a native ICD-10 perspective rather than converting from ICD-9. That pilot achieved an average accuracy rate of just 63 percent.

After two rounds of end-to-end ICD-10 testing, the results at the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance were similarly "scary," executive director Holt Anderson said at the recent Medical Group Management Association annual conference.

For 20 dual-coded and peer reviewed scenarios, results from the first test were 55 percent accurate. That rate improved to a 63 percent accuracy rate in the second round.

But worker productivity dropped by 50 percent--from averaging two medical records per hour with ICD-10 compared to four or more under ICD-9.

The ICD-10 switch will consume hospital IT budgets next year with "institutional survival" at stake, John Halamka, CIO at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says.

To learn more:
- read the Government Health IT article

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