Updated on: November 28, 2016

Only Small ICD-10 Glitches Being Reported, Marking Good News from the War Room – So Far

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Original story posted on: October 5, 2015

The first significant glitch of the ICD-10 era seems to be connected to physician office scripts, as reported during ICD10monitor's War Room live broadcast today.

That's the assessment from healthcare consultant and educator Laurie Johnson, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA, who monitored the broadcast.

 

"These physician orders contained ICD-9-CM codes rather than ICD-10-CM codes," Johnson explained. "It appears that some physician offices assumed that the hospital would translate the ICD-9-CM codes to ICD-10-CM codes if the patient presented after Oct. 1 for their testing."

According to Johnson, this approach is not recommended as a best practice; ICD-10-CM has approximately five codes to each ICD-9-CM code, and translation from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM typically results in an unspecified code.

"The physician offices should be supported through this transition, as it will improve the efficiency of claim submission process as we move forward," Johnson said. "There are available resources that provide the high-volume ICD-9-CM codes translated to ICD-10-CM codes by specialty."

Another area of concern is the seventh character for injuries and/or trauma, according to Johnson, who is also the director of health information management at Panacea Healthcare Solutions.

"This issue was apparent in the Aug. 27 national provider call and continues to be an issue that is discussed on the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) listserv," Johnson said. "The coder should not focus on the number of times the patient has visited, but on the type of treatment that the examining physician is providing."

The War Room, a production of ICD10monitor, is a series of live half-hour broadcasts airing every day this week to keep track of how America's hospitals are implementing ICD-10. The broadcasts air at 10 a.m. EST.

"For many, the journey to ICD-10 has been long and arduous, so we hope to report on how life is on the other side of the finish line," said Chuck Buck, program producer and co-host of the series '5 Days in 10.' "We want to provide a national window so that others can see how their counterparts are doing with their implementation, and to do that we've enlisted a number of consultants who will be calling in from their clients' hospitals."

Joining Buck as co-host is nationally renowned author, educator, and consultant Deborah Grider. Grider is a recognized speaker, consultant, and American Medical Association (AMA) representative who has been working with ICD-10 since 1990; she is also the author of Preparing for ICD-10, Making the Transition Manageable, Principles of ICD-10, and the ICD-10 Workbook, among many other publications for the AMA. She is considered an ICD-10 implementation expert, having helped hospital systems and physician practices get ready for ICD-10 since 2009. Grider is also past president of the Indiana Health Information Management Association.

Mark Spivey

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for ICDmonitor.com who has been writing on numerous topics facing the nation’s healthcare system (and federal oversight of it) for five years. 

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