The Train Has Left the Station: ICD-11 on its Way

Original story posted on: November 4, 2019

New series to focus on preparing for the new code set.

ICD10monitor and Talk Ten Tuesdays are launching a new series today, which will continue through November, focusing on the need for early preparation for the new ICD-11 code set that most expect will be ready for the U.S. implementation in 2022.

“Now, five years after ICD-10 implementation, the time for preparation for ICD-11 has come – and we want ICD10monitor and Talk Ten Tuesdays (TTT) to be there to help ensure a smooth transition,” said Chuck Buck, publisher of ICD10monitor and executive producer of the popular Talk Ten Tuesdays live podcast series.

The series launches today on the TTT broadcast, when Robert Jakob, MD, with the World Health Organization (WHO), makes a guest appearance. Jakob is the WHO team leader for Classifications and Terminologies (ICD, ICF, ICHIT).

Also on the broadcast will be Margaret Skurka, past president of the International Federation of Health Information Management Associations, IFHIMA, who serves as the current IFHIMA/AHIMA representative to the WHO Family of International Classifications Education and Implementation Committee, which performs work on ICD-11. Skurka, who recently returned from the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) meeting in Banff, Calgary, Canada, will discuss the latest on ICD-11 from both the U.S. perspective and a global perspective.

“ICD-10 was initially approved by the World Health Congress in 1989, so it is 30 years old,” industry coding expert Laurie Johnson said in an email to ICD10monitor. “We need a more current classification system that will work with electronic health records, and is more consistent with the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) and modern medical terminology.”

Johnson noted that the industry needs a classification system that is current with contemporary medical practice and will assist in collecting statistical information for mortality and morbidity data.    

“As we look for innovation, ICD-11 can be a stepping stone to assist innovation,” said Johnson, adding that as healthcare transitions from ICD-10 to ICD-11, there will be the need for project plans similar to the ones used to guide the transition for ICD-9 to ICD-10.

“We found that a lot of lead time was needed for vendors to prepare and to train all of the people who utilize coded medical data,” she added.

Also on TTT today will be Melanie Endicott, vice president of health information management (HIM) excellence for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

“A properly completed record is essential for good patient management,” Endicott said.

“It is also an essential prerequisite to the creation of a valid coded record of patient diagnoses and procedures,” Endicott added, noting that “the coding professional depends on the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation of patient conditions by healthcare practitioners in the health record.”

“ICD-11 includes many new conditions that are not currently included in ICD-10,” Endicott said. “These new conditions may or may not be documented within today’s health record, and it’s never too early to start analyzing your facility’s current documentation to ensure it will meet the rigor needed for ICD-11.”

On subsequent Tuesdays, listeners will hear from other subject matter experts on the impending code changes, such as Valerie J.M. Watzlaf, AHIMA Board President/Chair. Watzlaf, whose appearance is scheduled for Nov. 26, is expected to report on how AHIMA is helping the HIM profession prepare for the implementation of ICD-11.

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.
Mark Spivey

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for 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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