Health Information Management

Healthcare News: Commenters urge CMS to continue-and potentially expand-ICD-10 educational efforts

JustCoding News: Inpatient, September 12, 2012

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Providers are urging CMS to reconsider its current ICD-10 education and outreach strategy to ensure that providers are prepared to implement the new code set. CMS published and addressed specific provider comments in a final rule released August 25 that confirms the delay of ICD-10 to October 1, 2014.

Commenters made the following suggestions to CMS:
  • Educate providers on the synergies between Meaningful Use and ICD-10
  • Create an education plan and conduct education in a wide range of formats, including webinars, handouts, podcasts, and frequently asked questions
  • Develop and publish specific milestones or benchmarks for ICD-10 implementation  
  • Engage private sector firms and entrepreneurs in education and outreach tasks
  • Help smaller providers determine if their current documentation practices meet the specificity required in ICD-10
Although CMS doesn’t address these comments specifically in the rule, the agency states it will continue to engage and educate the provider community. 
The agency does notplan to create a National Coding Authority to provide timely answers for ICD-10 transition questions, as one commenter had suggested. Instead, the Cooperating Parties, which includes CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the AHIMA, will serve as the national coding authorities on both the ICD-10 and the ICD-9-CM code sets. The AHA’s Editorial Advisory Board for Coding Clinic is already addressing ICD-10 coding issues and questions, according to the final rule.
CMS also doesn’t plan to create or endorse a single crosswalk that enhances GEMs with one-to-one mapping forward and backward between ICD-9 and ICD-10 despite several commenters’ requests. CMS states in the final rule:
We are aware that there is not an exact one-to-one match in the forward or backward translation between ICD-9 and ICD-10. However, we believe that our General Equivalency Mapping (GEMs) is a useful tool to assist with transitioning between ICD-9 and ICD-10. Furthermore, we believe that the training materials posted to the CMS website, as well as the scheduled outreach and educational opportunities which are periodically provided by CMS, suffice for training and technical support.
For more information, download the ICD-10 final rule.

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