7 tactics for making ICD-10 urgent

By Tom Sullivan
09:38 AM

What with meaningful use, EHRs, HIPAA 5010, and countless other healthcare projects, ICD-10 is on the backburner at many organizations. Yet, the deadline is approaching, achieving compliance is more complex than it may appear and the time is here to move ICD-10 up that priority list.

With that in mind, two executives at Care Communications, a health information management consultancy, share their collective advice on raising the ICD-10 conversion's profile amid the din.

1. Put the compliance deadline date in front of everyone. That means making signs with October 1, 2013 on them and posting those around the workplace – the idea being to create “an emotional response” that gets people asking what is that date and how will it impact me?

2. Complete the impact assessment and analysis. Then, use those results to publicize how much work achieving ICD-10 compliance will actually demand.

[Related: 3 ICD-10 trends to eyeball. See also: HIMSS' top 5 hurdles to HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10.]

3. Alert everyone who touches ICD-10 of the need to re-learn appropriate codes. This adjustment includes care management protocols, clinical and financial databases and reports, reimbursement, registries, quality management, research.

4. Show exactly how ICD-10 will change the organization. “Make clear the extent of the change and time commitment necessary to complete all of the technical and process changes, as well as the education needed just to learn how to make the changes,” the authors explain.

5. Demonstrate to senior leadership the strategic advantage of a smooth transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS. Throughout 2010 the benefits, opportunities for business value, and potential competitive advantage of ICD-10 became more clear, but senior management must understand how they can leverage ICD-10.

6. Map how ICD-10 fits into other health IT projects. EHR, billing, revenue cycle, and CPOE are among the applications and initiatives that will need to become ICD-10 ready.

7. Educate. “Other than the HIM department, coding is not top of mind for most,” the authors wrote. “Customized presentations for everyone from senior leaders to department directors, managers, administrative staff, and clinicians should be undertakes as soon as possible.”

While most folks in the healthcare realm are aware that ICD-10 is coming, plenty lack adequate understanding of how to start down the road to compliance, what changes it will bring, and what their organizations will look like come compliance day.

Portions of the paper (PDF), penned by CEO Leslie Ann Fox and president Patty Thierry Sheridan, originally ran in Advance Magazine.

Tom Sullivan blogs regularly at ICD10Watch.com.

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