Health Information Management

Associate Director's Note: ICD-10 implementation scare tactics continue

CDI Strategies, May 14, 2015

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We had another ICD-10 scare last week when Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced a new bill that could potentially cease ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation. This kind of distraction has come up again and again, and leaves hospitals asking whether or not they really should dedicate the time and money to prepare for ICD-10 implementation.

The short answer is yes, ICD-10 is coming.

We need to let go of the doubts, and prepare as if the implementation date were tomorrow. It’s better to be over-prepared, than not prepared at all.

Members of the ACDIS Advisory Board created the ICD-10 training and implementation timeline for CDI (available on our Helpful Resources page) to help. It includes recommended courses of action and tips and tricks for improving existing documentation practices. It also includes a month-by-month to-do list with training and preparation guidelines to get your team set to go for October 2015.  Keep in mind, this timeline begins at the end of 2014. If your facility has not yet started its ICD-10 prep, take a look at the timeline as a whole, use it as a guide, and figure out a reasonable schedule that works for your team.

Additionally, ACDIS Editor Katherine Rushlau recently started a series of ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation tips which publish on the ACDIS Blog every Friday in which she pulls advice from our CDI and coding Boot Camp instructors, Advisory Board members, and current publications to help keep your CDI program progressing in its preparation efforts.

Finally, we encourage you as CDI professionals to remain diligent in staying informed regarding the ongoing debate and to advocate for the advancement of the new code set. The new codes will provide greater specificity, a specificity that could mean improved data analysis and improved health for our nation overall. Who wouldn’t want that?

As Michelle A. Leppert wrote last week on the ICD-10 Trainer Blog, “With less than five months to implementation, we don’t need this kind of distraction. What we need are assurances that another delay won’t happen. Sadly, we probably won’t get the date written in stone and most of us will probably remain skeptical. It’s okay to be a skeptic. Just don’t slow down your ICD-10 implementation work…”

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