Health Information Management

Uncover this helpful GEM to assist with ICD-10 transition

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 21, 2009

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Despite the fact that ICD-10 implementation is still nearly three years away, CMS is ramping up its educational resources now to equip providers with the necessary tools to begin the transition. The next 36 months will pass by quickly, says Sue Bowman, RHIA, CCS, director of coding policy and compliance at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in Chicago.

"The reason [CMS] picked 2013 [as its implementation date] instead of the original 2011 is that the commenters said they needed that long to make the conversion," Bowman says. "If you need that long, you need to start today. It’s less expensive to spread it out and do it in a strategic fashion."

CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to help providers take the first step toward implementation. These agencies, along with AHIMA and the American Hospital Association, created General Equivalence Mappings (GEM), a bidirectional tool to aid providers in the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10. GEM demonstrates how a code in one set (i.e., the source system) translates to the other (i.e., the target system), with conversions based on code book instructions, index entries, and Coding Clinic advice.

Editor’s note: To learn more about the GEMs or to purchase a copy of this article for $10, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have access to this article in the July issue of the newsletter.



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