We have another “go live” date for ICD-10—-OCTOBER 1, 2015!  Are you ready?  Of course you are!  We were all ready to go for the October 1, 2014 date, weren’t we?

We will be transitioning from utilizing 14,000 codes (ICD-9) to utilizing 69,000 codes in ICD-10.

ICD-10 offers more specificity because of the expansion of codes.  Making sure that the most specific code is reported will maximize ICD-10’s ability to provide meaningful patient care data and demonstrate the severity of the patient’s condition.               

Documentation plays a very important role in the ICD-10 coding world.  Improvement in specific documentation practices is a must.  If physicians are not specific enough in their documentation, this can affect the accuracy of the coding.  Because ICD-9 limitations exist, ICD-10 is a significant improvement over the current ICD-9 system and medical terminology and classification of diseases have been updated to be more consistent with current healthcare practices.  These current healthcare practices need a classification system that will reflect clinical detail to capture technological improvements in the services we provide. 

As the healthcare industry continues with breakthrough clinical pathways, ICD-10 will be able to expand to reflect these improvements.

There are four questions you need to ask when thinking about ICD-10 implementation:

1.       Will your vendors be ready?

2.       Will your payers be ready?

3.       How will you train and ensure retention of knowledge?

4.       How will the coder’s efficiency be affected?

So….are you really ready?                            For information on ICD-10 preparedness, please visit AHIMA Website .

Gina Tomcsik

Director of Compliance