ICD-10: Not One But Two Deadlines Coming in 2015
The following is an excerpt from an article on ICD10 Monitor. It was written by D'Arcy Guerin Gue.
We all know that the official deadline for implementing ICD-10 has been moved to Oct. 1, 2015. Any healthcare organization that singles out that date as its primary focus, however, is placing itself at grave financial risk. While there are some portions of ICD-10 that simply cannot be implemented in production early, like sending ICD-10 codes on claims, there are others that can – and simply must – be implemented earlier.
Meeting another deadline – April 1, 2015 – will be a critical factor. By that date, six months prior to final implementation, organizations should have increased staffing to meet the challenges of the ICD-10 transition. Similarly, by then their systems should be ready to support the staff impacted by ICD-10 as they begin to use the coding system on actual patient records.
Why so early? ICD-10 will affect almost the entire spectrum of healthcare, but the broadest impacts will come in the area of productivity. This will be a result of the increased complexity of ICD-10 coding support and the general unfamiliarity with the new requirements. The implementation of ICD-10 will impact the productivity of any staff member who documents, determines, records, or uses an ICD-10 diagnosis or procedure code. Nowhere will the impact be more obvious than in the health information management (HIM) department, where a coder’s main job function is to determine which of these codes to use. Mitigating that impact will require time and ample preparation.
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