A February 7th letter signed by the chairwoman and the president/CEO of HIMSS expresses “strong support” for adopting ICD-10 by October 1, 2014. The letter from Willa Fields (Chair, HIMSS Board of Directors) and H. Stephen Lieber (President/CEO, HIMSS), submitted to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius and CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, urges them to “give a strong message to the industry that ICD-10 has already been thoroughly vetted” and encourages CMS to avoid any more delays in implementing ICD-10 by the current adoption date.
HIMSS states that transitioning to the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) is a goal for which healthcare entities have been preparing, and “foundational to healthcare transformation in the United States.” The organization reaffirmed its commitment to helping ensure that healthcare providers and facilities, payers, and healthcare IT vendors receive all the tools they need to achieve the transition in time.
Reasons cited by HIMSS for a timely implementation of ICD-10, without further delays, include: patient experience, which will be enhanced if the cost of healthcare can be reduced to more manageable levels over the long term; healthcare transformation, with healthcare IT improvements which are reliant upon the modern standard coding system which ICD-10 will provide; quality of population health, which will increase with the improved ability to identify the state of Americans’ health and stay ahead of disease progression; waste elimination, driven by better clinical and business intelligence and improved consumer engagement, compliance, and accountability; and cost savings, because more delays could result in billions of dollars in lost investments for those who have been preparing.
HIMSS further notes that the American healthcare system has been using ICD-9 since 1979, and the coding system has not kept up with advances in medical knowledge and information technology. The letter states that delaying the ICD-10 implementation further “will only signal that CMS is not serious about administrative simplification and HIPAA requirements.”
Electronic medical records software and medical billing software such as Medisoft 18 and Lytec 2013 must adapt to incorporate changes in healthcare technology and the healthcare industry. Microwize Technology can help your practice prepare for ICD-10 and other upcoming changes; contact a healthcare technology consultant for more information.