What Would Make Us Not Delay ICD-10 in 2015?

While at the HFMA ANI conference in Las Vegas, I talked to a lot of people about the future of healthcare reimbursement. Talk of ICD-10 and the ICD-10 delay came up regularly with most of us rolling our eyes that ICD-10 was delayed again. Some argued that we still need to be prepared, but from what I’m seeing the majority of the market just pushed their plans out a year and will pick them up again later this year or early next year.

With that said, we all agreed that every organization will be much more hesitant preparing for ICD-10 next year since they’re afraid that ICD-10 will just be delayed again.

As I had these discussions, I started thinking about what will be different in 2015 when it comes to ICD-10? As I asked people this question, all of the same arguments that we made in 2014 are what we’re going to have in 2015. Some of them include: the rest of the world adopted this years ago, we’re falling behind on the data we’re capturing, we need more specificity in the way we code so we can improve healthcare, etc etc etc.

Considering these arguments, what will be different next year?

All of the above arguments for not delaying ICD-10 were valid in 2014 and we’ll be just as valid in 2015. Can you think of any reasons that we should not delay ICD-10 in 2015 that weren’t reasons in 2014? I can’t think of any. The closest I’ve come is that with the extra year, we’re better prepared for ICD-10. Although, given people’s propensity to delay, does anyone think we’ll be much better prepared for ICD-10 in 2015 than we were in 2014? In some ways I think we’ll be less prepared because many will likely think the delay will happen again.

Given that the environment will be mostly the same, why wouldn’t we think that ICD-10 will be delayed again in 2015?

Personally, I’ll be watching CMS and HHS closely and see what they say. I think this year they looked really bad when they very publicly proclaimed that ICD-10 was coming at HIMSS just to be hit from the side by the ICD-10 delay. I’d hope that this time CMS will work with Congress to know what they’re planning or thinking before they make such strong assertions. Of course, this would mean that they’d have to understand what Congress is thinking (not an easy task).

What’s unfortunate is that many of the things you need to do to prepare for ICD-10 can also benefit you under ICD-9. The smart organizations understand this and are focusing on clinical documentation improvement (CDI) as the best way to prepare for ICD-10, but still benefit from the program today.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.

2 Comments

  • When it comes to handing out money, the Gov’t loves to make it as difficult to collect as possible – well, one could make the argument this is not the case in certain areas….
    So, when you have built your business around collecting money from the Gov’t, you have to deal with their rules.
    It stinks.
    It’s no fun.
    It is reality.
    Anymore, docs have made it their mantra to gripe about reimbursements, and additional requirement in most if not all areas.
    Again, I get it, it stinks, but that is the business model you went with.

    Your last paragraph is the central part. As with ICD-10, the HIPAA regulations generally make good business sense. Rather than griping about all the rules, why not figure out the rules and maximize from there?

    One of issues is that word *business*. Many private practices are not actually run like one.

  • I agree with you John. Unless we change the reasons for delay, there will be another one next year. Specifically, the AMA and MGMA felt so strongly that ICD-10 is not valuable and is too hard to implement that they deployed their strong lobbying efforts to get ICD-10 delay attached to the SGR; unless we do something to convince AMA and MGMA otherwise another delay is inevitable.

    I have several posts on this topic:
    http://www.rebelmouse.com/Resultant/icd10-call-to-action-576771516.html
    http://www.rebelmouse.com/Resultant/talk-ten-tuesdays-answers-call-594281159.html
    http://www.rebelmouse.com/Resultant/icd10-hard-as-1-2-3-597092966.html

    Best regards,
    Joe

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