The final date for ICD-10 implementation is official, and the ICD-10 race is on for October 1, 2014, according to the final rule issued in August 2012.
We are, once again, back on the “race track” in terms of preparing for the biggest healthcare transformation we’ve seen in over 30 years. To complement this announcement, the HIMSS G7, a thought-leadership and strategic solutions platform, published its HIMSS G7 Advisory Report–Implementing ICD-10 by the Compliance Date: A Call to Action recognizing the pivotal ICD-10 challenges facing the health sector. Before publication, the recommendations were unanimously approved by the HIMSS Board of Directors.
With the new date, the US healthcare community can maximize the opportunity to test internal procedures and business processes to minimize glitches in coding, billing, cash flow, and overall revenue. In a perfect world, organizations impacted by ICD-10 can now tack on one full year of extra time solely for the purpose of testing and remediation to ensure quality, undisrupted revenue and financial systems safeguards.
HIMSS encourages the use of VitalVendors, a self-reporting tool that communicates vendor readiness for ICD-10. Not only will vendors need to be ready by October 1, 2014, their products should be ready well in advance to ensure clients can take full advantage of the additional testing and remediation period as allowed by the new deadline.
Our HIMSS ICD-10 Task Force is publishing a series of ICD-10 Podcasts for small provider use that will instruct them on how ICD-10 impacts medical clinics and other small provider group practices. Podcasts are produced monthly, so be sure to visit the ICD-10 PlayBook frequently to check for new content and additions to the series.
Many providers are just now starting initial planning and gap assessments, not to mention setting up the right infrastructure for implementing ICD-10, which calls for enterprise-wide transformation. The ICD-10 transition has full-blown impact on anything and anyone in the healthcare delivery landscape, both internal and external support systems. In addition, many providers, from small physician practices to large health systems, payers, clearinghouses, and vendors, are already grappling with significant challenges of meaningful use, payment reform and recovering from our nation’s current recession.
Because there must be wide-spread compliance with ICD-10 adoption by October 1, 2014, the HIMSS G7 Advisory Report recommends the following industry strategies to help providers get to the “finish line” with minimal bumps and bruises:
1. Achieve broad stakeholder support for an ICD-10 Pilot Program with end-to-end business process testing.
2. Accelerate vendor readiness supporting health plans, providers, and other vendors.
3. Significantly expand education focused on independent physician groups and providers.
4. Recognize the Cooperating Parties, which include Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Center for Health Statistics, (NCHS), American Hospital Association (AHA), and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as the “single source of truth” for accurate and consistent coding.
To date, HIMSS and WEDI, along with 16 hospitals/healthcare systems, 6 associations/ government organizations, 9 health plans, 16 vendors/consulting groups, and 2 clearinghouses - totaling over 100 participants (growing number daily) – are actively participating as leaders, early adopters/early movers, and decision makers in creating a framework for the ICD-10 National Pilot Program. The purpose is to create a model for standardized testing with four Regional Solutions Centers using well-vetted ICD-10 scenarios that healthcare providers can access free of charge for internal and external testing.
Data and outcomes from the ICD-10 National Pilot Program, orchestrated testing among providers, vendors and consultants, clearinghouses, health plans and CMS, will be published incrementally in the ICD-10 PlayBook as it becomes available. The Cooperating Parties have been invited to participate in the business planning of a National Pilot Program to serve as coding experts in the creation of standardized test cases.
What else could HIMSS do to help equip stakeholders for the transition? We’d love to hear from you.