Health Information Management

ICD-10 transition appears to be going smoothly for most providers

APCs Insider, October 16, 2015

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By Steven Andrews 

It’s been more than two weeks since ICD-10 became the official code set and the sky hasn’t fallen. Despite claims that from the AMA and other physician groups that ICD-10 was a “looming disaster” that could devastate the industry, the transition has mostly been notable for how smoothly it’s gone. 

In fact, some facilities are still operating at ICD-9-CM coding levels despite the change, according to a recent story in HealthLeaders Media. 

"Systems are functioning well, and with a little extra effort, coding days are still at pre-ICD-10 levels,” said John Showalter, MD, chief health information officer of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “We have submitted a few claims where the remittance has already come back, and all of our major payers have accepted a claim submission.” 

Showalter credits his facility’s success to extensive preparations taken in anticipation of implementation, including multiple rounds of testing with state Medicaid systems and translating crosswalks. His experience adds credence to the idea that the repeated calls for delays by Congress and physician groups did more to hurt industry preparation than help.  

Of course, for such a massive change, it surely hasn’t been completely seamless. I’ve heard from providers in different MAC jurisdictions that a handful of LCDs did not contain all the properly translated ICD-10-CM codes, leading to denials. I’ve also heard of some MACs putting holds on claims for manual review.

How has the ICD-10 transition affected your facility? Please vote in the poll below or email me at to tell me about your experience.

What part of the ICD-10 transition has been most difficult for your facility?

  • Decline in coder productivity
  • Documentation lacking necessary detail
  • MACs denying claims due to LCD mistranslations
  • MACs holding claims for manual review
  • Software issues related to EHRs
  • We haven’t had any major issues

Please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to vote.


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