Health Information Management

Director's Note: ACDIS advises members to 'stay the course' despite potential ICD-10 delay

CDI Strategies, April 26, 2012

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As I’m sure most of you are aware, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a one-year delay of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS. You can read the complete release here

The go-live date for which most of us were preparing—October 1, 2013—is now extended to October 1, 2014, barring any last-moment changes.

According to CMS, many provider groups had expressed serious concerns about their ability to meet the initial Oct. 1, 2013 compliance date. The proposed change in the compliance date for ICD-10 will give providers and other covered entities more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition to these new code sets.
ACDIS would like to offer the following guidance for our members:
  1. Stay the course with ICD-9 and ICD-10 documentation education. Hospitals continue to struggle with documentation and coding requirements under ICD-9; the best way to prepare for ICD-10 is to perform ICD-9 correctly and negotiate the differences between it and the new coding system. Regarding the best time to begin ICD-10 training: We’ve heard anecdotal evidence of hospitals moving out their ICD-10 training dates for their coding staff, which is understandable. However, an industry-wide recommended first step is ensuring that additional required physician documentation is in place for HIM/coding staff. Getting the additional specificity necessary under ICD-10 now is a good way to ensure a seamless transition to October 1, 2014. CDI specialists should use this time to improve their core competencies and knowledge base of ICD-10.
  2. Provide commentary to CMS. Commentary on the proposed rule is open for 30 days starting on Tuesday, April 17. If you feel strongly that the one-year delay should not be implemented, or if you believe that the one-year delay will benefit your hospital, let CMS know by providing your comments at CMS reviews all provider comments, and who better to hear from than CDI specialists, for whom the change to ICD-10 will be of the greatest impact. To comment on the proposed delay to ICD-10, click the following link to the Federal Register!documentDetail;D=CMS-2012-0043-0001 and click the “Submit a Comment” button. Comments are due on May 17, 2012 by 11:59 p.m. ET.
 Brian Murphy, ACDIS Director, and the ACDIS Advisory Board

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