CHIME urges HHS to make quick decision on ICD-10
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has called on the Department of Health and Human Services to “quickly and decisively” set a compliance date for ICD-10.
In a Tuesday letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CHIME strongly urged Sebelius to forego a prolonged uncertainty about the timing and details of a new ICD-10 compliance date, which would move the deadline for compliance past the current Oct. 1, 2013 date.
“Everyone in the healthcare IT world is working against numerous deadlines,” said George Hickman, executive vice president and chief information officer at Albany, N.Y.-based Albany Medical Center. “But it’s vitally important for those of us planning, budgeting and implementing these projects to know when that deadline is coming. This announcement has introduced an unnecessary level of uncertainty into our lives.”
[See also: ICD-10 inches closer to delay, ICD-11 in the wings.]
CHIME encouraged HHS to remain committed to ICD-10 because many healthcare provider organizations have made, or are planning for, substantial investments in technology, training and education. The code set also will introduce a new level of data points for doctors and hospitals that will ultimately lead to better outcomes.
"The ICD-10 code set will give providers more granular information that will, in turn, enable us to better tell the patient’s story," the letter said. "This will lead to better outcomes for patients and increased innovation for the healthcare delivery system as a whole."
The Secretary's announcement indicated a possibility that different segments of the healthcare industry would be subject to different compliance dates.
CHIME cautioned against this approach, urging HHS to keep the same compliance date for both physicians and hospitals. “For the ICD-10 conversion to go as smoothly as possible, all segments of the provider community need to be in lockstep,” the letter said.
To help HHS develop an appropriate path for ICD-10 moving forward, CHIME offered its assistance and expertise in order to optimize the positive impacts of ICD-10 and make the transition as smooth as possible.
Find a copy of CHIME's letter to HHS here.
Follow Diana Manos on Twitter @DManos_IT_News.