February 11, 2015

Congressional Hearing Ignites Twitter

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The Twittersphere was on fire today during the hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health. 

Tweets included the now-standard ICD-10 hash tags of #ICD10, #ICD10Matters, #NoDelay, and a new one, #SubHealth. Every day brings more thought leadership to the platform as the passion for ICD-10 comes to new forms of media. From strong support, interesting facts, and even humorous memes, hundreds of users of social media are letting their voices be heard. The American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA’s) popular #ICD10Matters campaign, which asks people to tag their senators and House representatives in online posts, has actually made a strong grassroots impact that was clearly evident today. 

 

Two key themes resonated, including “pull the trigger or pull the plug” and “no more delays or nobody will ever comply.” Many expressed angst about what they saw as rehashing of old arguments that no longer apply as we have moved so far along from just debating ICD-10’s merits. 

Many Twitter users were frustrated by the dichotomy of educated versus uneducated or misinformed members of Congress. High marks go to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, who had an excellent understanding of the value of ICD-10 and made a strong statement about not hiding it in another sustainable growth rate (SGR) bill. Sue Bowman of AHIMA was a star witness and a fan favorite as she made clear key arguments and disputed every point from the opposition. A rural physician from Missouri, Edwin M. Burke, MD, was celebrated for being a small, country physician who successfully switched to ICD-10 in one day for free. The target of everyone’s vitriol was Dr. William Terry, a urologist who hates everything about ICD-10 but had a hard time articulating his concerns. Many references and analogies were made to the lopsided Blackberry versus iPhone battle, which spawned many jokes as well as visual memes. 

Something that seemed new to even some of the most educated ICD-10 proponents was the multitude of code requests made by physicians due to the current code set deficiencies. Many statements were tweeted about the impact of ICD-10 on better patient care, now and in the future. Bowman eloquently described the importance of data for disease management and how the new codes can have an immediate impact with patients with diabetes and asthma, for example. 

As someone who represents more than 800 contract coding professionals at himagine, I walked away feeling even more confident that 2015 is finally the year we get it right!

 

 

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.
Brad Justus

Brad Justus is an enterprise account executive at himagine solutions, the largest coding company in the U.S. He offers customized outsourced coding solutions, audits, HIM & CDI consulting, registry services, and interim management.