November 13, 2012

A Little Humor in Tough Times

By John Pitsikoulis, RHIA

EDITOR’S NOTE: John Pitsikoulis, who lives in Downingtown, PA, which is outside of Philadelphia, rode through Sandy with minimal damage.

A horrendous storm battered the Northeast recently, killing more than 100 people and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. I always have been taught that material things, while they may have sentimental value, always can be replaced. But life is sacred, and it is times like these that remind us how fragile it can be.

While many in the Northeast try to move closer to normalcy, many others will continue their daily routines. In the spirit of providing a little humor in tough times, I present the lighter side of ICD-10. These are actual quotes from providers:

  • A finance director on the ICD-10 conversion date: “Can’t we just continue using I-9 codes beyond October 2014 and pay a fine?”
  • Regarding CIO crosswalking from ICD-9 to ICD-10: “I understand there are many codes that do not have a one-to-one correlation, but data is data, and I will just develop a crosswalk myself, because there has to be a way.”
  • A VP on staffing and coder productivity impact: “We will not be hiring additional coders or using contract coders. The coders will just have to code faster to make up for the lost productivity.”
  • A PFS director on conversion to ICD-10: “This will not impact us at all, and I don’t know what the big deal is all about. We do conversions all of the time, and this one is no different.”
  • A hospital coder on conversion to the ICD-10 code set: “I think ICD-10 coding will be easier, and physician clinical documentation will not impact us at all.”
  • An ICD-10 project manager on an implementation budget: “The original budget calculations seemed too high, so I adjusted it down to what I thought feels right.”
  • A physician practice manager on the October 2014 go-live date: “I extended the timeline for implementation to December 2014, because we never complete anything on time here.”

And finally, my all-time favorite quote:

  • An IT director on integrated testing: “We were planning on conducting ICD-10 integrated testing in our production system and (having) the physicians document in two EMR inpatient records: one for I-9 coding, and a second duplicate EMR with I-10 clinical documentation specificity for testing.”

I hope that these memorable ICD-10 quotes will lighten your mood and provide a good chuckle as we continue moving forward with our respective ICD-10 initiatives. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

May you find the strength to carry on in such difficult times.

About the Author

John Pitsikoulis, RHIA, is a Strategic Advisory Services Client Executive and ICD-10 Practice leader at CTG Health Solutions (CTGHS). John is responsible for the strategic advisory services such as ICD-10, EMR clinical documentation integration program, and Computer Assisted Documentation Services. John has over 25 years of Health Information Management (HIM), coding, and compliance consulting experience working with clients on ICD-10 services, RAC, coding, and clinical documentation improvement engagements.

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