Are You Ready for ICD-10?

We’ve been writing about ICD-10 for a long time now including the delay of ICD-10. Based on the CMS comments at HIMSS, there will be no more delays in the implementation of ICD-10. Barring something crazy, ICD-10 will go into effect on October 1, 2014. The question is, are you ready?

If you’re not ready or you’re not sure if you’re ready, check out this ICD-10 whitepaper. It’s a nice straightforward look at ICD-10 and provides 6 steps you can use to make sure you’re ready for ICD-10. Plus, it has some good background on ICD-10 and the basics of the ICD-10 code structure.

Of course, many of you might be wondering why I’m posting about ICD-10 if it’s still over a year away. If you’re asking this, then you must not have looked into ICD-10 very much. It’s not that I think the switch over from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is really that hard, but it takes some time to ensure that all of your systems are ready for the switch over and that your staff are trained.

As is discussed in the ICD-10 whitepaper I mentioned, the first step is to do an impact analysis so you know how you’re doing on your path to ICD-10. Maybe you won’t need a year to get there, but you’ll want to do that impact analysis now so you know either way.

I won’t be surprised if some EMR vendors aren’t ready for ICD-10. It’s kind of insane to consider, but I can see a few scenarios where this happens. Plus, you want to make sure your EMR is able to send proper ICD-10 codes to your billing systems. In some cases you may need to “ride” your EMR vendor to make sure they’re ready. This may take time.

The reality is that the provider is responsible for ICD-10 whether their various software and billing companies are ready or not. So each practice should be proactive in their approach to ICD-10.

ICD-10 Fact: We’ve been using ICD-9 since 1979 and ICD-10 was first brought to the US in 1994.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I like the mini fact at the end of your article. It’s like going to a store or a hospital seeing DOS on their computer system.

  • Miss Jane,
    Glad you liked it. I’ll have to do more things like that in the future.

    I think DOS came after 1979 though;-)

  • Before you “ride” your EMR or PMS vendor, which is developing at its own expense as it is not eligible for any government incentives to pay for its development, please consider that the vendor is most likely diligently working on achieving Stage 2 certification before 1/1/14, while squeezing in some parallel development for ICD-10. Hopefully they can spend some time enhancing your software in other meaningful ways at the same time they complete the development objectives dictated to them by the feds.

    BTW, just the fact in itself that CMS has stated that there will be no delays does not guarantee that there will not be. However developers must be prepared of course in case they mean it this time. I know we are.

    Mark Hollis
    MacPractice, Inc.

  • Mark,
    Doctors will be doing those EHR vendors a favor to make sure they implement ICD-10 at their own expense. Any EHR vendor that doesn’t is going to be in real peril. More so than even those who don’t go after meaningful use.

    I agree they face a challenging development cycle mostly dictated by the government and that’s unfortunate.

    There could still be a delay, but I’ll be surprised if there’s another one.

  • I agree with you. My point is that EVERY EHR vendor is already aware of upcoming ICD-10 requirements without having their customers “ride” them.

    Some EHR vendors will follow the path of Mitochon and numerous others to extinction if they cannot attain Stage 2 certification, which is required 10 months before ICD-10.

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