Sutter Health Switching Early To ICD-10

Though the industry has until October 2014 to meet the deadline for ICD-10 go-live, some health systems are gearing up to get there well in advance.

One system which has gone public with its plans is Sutter Health, whose go-live date will be May 31, 2014, according to a story in Healthcare IT News.

The health system, which unveiled its plans at this week’s AHIMA convention, won’t be submitting claims to payers in ICD-10 right away, but it will turn on the new codes for physician use, said Danielle Reno, ICD-10 program director for Sutter.

Sutter faced a formidable challenge when planning its rollout, as it has relationships with roughly 5,200 physicians across 24 acute care hospitals.

To prepare for the rollout, Sutter began by getting key staff and management on board, and making sure they understood the timelines they’d need to meet and the impact to their budgets, Healthcare IT News said.

Also, as part of the teaching process, Sutter made 30- and  60-minute online educational videos available starting in July. The idea was to gear up employees to serve as change agents across 27 medical specialties.

Sutter also identified physician champions who were given privileges to take ICD-10 back to their departments each month, the same physicians who already communicate about any changes to Sutter’s EMR, the magazine reports.

In addition to these efforts, after learning that doctors preferred training from someone in their specialty, Reno started offering all-day sessions in which doctors could learn with their peers. This has been a “great success,” Reno said.

If your organization hasn’t begun preparations for the ICD-10 switchover, there’s obviously not a moment to waste. In addition to getting training going, you’ll want to make sure your EMR vendor is ICD-10 ready. Wouldn’t it be a rude shock to find out too late that it isn’t?

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.