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Updated on: November 21, 2016

Moving Forward: Building Bridges and Success with ICD-10

Original story posted on: April 11, 2015

With the sustainable growth rate (SGR) issue just resolved thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, it’s really time for those opponents of ICD-10 to come together for the betterment of all of healthcare.


Although the Senate still needs to pass the new legislation without any ICD-10 delays, at this point in time it does look very promising. Now that we are hitting the six-month mark and counting down to the go-live date of Oct. 1, 2015, let’s rally our physicians and staff behind ICD-10. Let’s show our leadership in bringing about success through building bridges. With the experience of several delays in the past, it has been a challenge staying focused on ICD-10 readiness. But don’t be fearful!

We’ve all read about the cost for ICD-10 implementation being too high, the use of dual coding being the answer, that documentation is too challenging, that there is not enough testing, etc. But there is clear evidence now that these concerns are simply not viable excuses. I recall discussing some of the same implementation and readiness concerns back in 2012, and so now is the ideal time to take a step back, gather your leaders, and look at those who need to be involved in building bridges around your implementation efforts.

Bring into the fold your physician leaders, health information management (HIM), clinical documentation improvement (CDI), finance, information technology, and others to review the current state of your implementation.

There obviously are still some who now need to catch up and fast-track their implementation plans. Although the majority of professionals across healthcare have done a good job of planning and preparing, those who have not need to pull together now and not wait any longer.

Physician practices are especially vulnerable, and they need assistance from hospitals to guide them and share tools and resources. Certainly, utilizing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) online resources available through its “The Road to ICD-10” (http://www.roadto10.org/) construct is a great place to start.

Gap analysis or assessments also will need to be completed for documentation and coding in particular. For hospitals, even a financial analysis of the impact of ICD-10 on MS-DRGs for the inpatient setting needs to be completed. Outline your education and training plan and ensure that there is participation and engagement in this very important step.

Because we will use the ICD-10 code set for testing purposes, medical necessity, prescribing, and referring, the physician level of engagement needs to be confirmed and collaborative. Build those bridges and offer your assistance to those lagging behind. Your leadership will be beneficial to all!

While in Washington, D.C. last week advocating for ICD-10 implementation, I met with several House representatives, and overall, they were well-informed about the SGR and ICD-10. One representative from California was clearly thinking about the future of healthcare and the value of ICD-10 data, as it will help with much-needed improvements in patient care and also advancements in research.

In addition, as we see our healthcare reimbursement models move away from traditional fee-for-service models and to more value-driven models, we need much more accurate and robust healthcare data than we have today – and that is just one more crystal-clear justification for implementing ICD-10 this October.

It is also one more clear reason to pull together as we face the future. Visit the Coalition for ICD-10 online at http://coalitionforicd10.org

and learn more about the state of readiness of the nation’s healthcare system. Also check out the resources available at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) website: http://www.ahima.org/icd10.

And finally, view the ICD-10 resources at the California Health Information Association website at http://www.californiahia.org.

Let’s build bridges and be successful not just for a single practice or a single hospital, but for all of healthcare. We’ve already spent $22 billion for planning, training, system conversions, testing, and overall transition processes.

No more delays.

ICD-10 in 2015 is a step in the right direction toward improving the health of healthcare in our nation!


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.
Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Gloryanne Bryant is an independent health information management (HIM) coding compliance consultant with more than 40 years of experience in the field. She appears on Talk Ten Tuesdays on a regular basis and is a member of the ICD10monitor editorial board.

Latest from Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

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