Two-year countdown: Where you should be today with ICD-10

By Carl Natale
08:51 AM
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We are now two years away from the deadline for ICD-10 implementation. That seems like a long time but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave us an extra year because of a state of unreadiness. So today is a good day to get your ICD-10 transition project on track.

Start with a timeline. In February, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) created an eight-phase timeline. It was based upon the 2013 deadline and got lost amidst all the buzz about the impending delay.

But I'm dusting it off and adding a year to the deadlines. Crude, yes. But it's meant to be inspiration not a blueprint. Here are the deadlines:

  • March 31, 2013: Internal impact assessment: Figure out how the ICD-10 codes will affect everyone in your organization.
  • May 31, 2013: External impact assessment: Understand how ICD-10 implementation will affect your payers, vendors and other partners. How will you need to support their compliance?
  • May 31, 2013: Baseline budget formulation: Figure out how much the ICD-10 transition will cost.
  • Through June 31, 2013: Education: Raise awareness of ICD-10 requirements and perhaps formal training for key personnel.
  • Dec. 31, 2013: Business process changes: Upgrade systems, procedures and technologies.
  • March 31, 2014: Internal testing and validation: ICD-10 codes must work in all aspects of your organization
  • Sept. 30, 2014: External testing and validation: Test your transactions and medical claims with all your partners.

CMS has more detailed timelines and guides on its website:

The deadlines are out 0f date but using the dates above as a rough guide, you can see what's involved. I'm going to be blending the resources together to help understand what's needed.

Get started.