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ICD-10-CM/PCS News for:
February 1, 2018

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ICD-10-CM/PCS News Archives

Years of preparation pay off in ICD-10 transition

December 1, 2015:

While the ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation approached with some anticipating catastrophe, the October 1 conversion date came and went without much incident. But that doesn’t mean it was a non-event.

Most of the ICD-10 headlines since the turn of the fiscal year for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have emphasized the mildness of the initial reaction about the new code set. For example, ICD-10 earthquake barely caused a shake, ICD-10 day one saw small glitches, and Hospitals tout success on day 1 of ICD-10 transition, etc.

Of course, there were also the obligatory headlines—like these from NBC News and CNN—highlighting odd codes that most providers will never use.

The majority observers are emphasizing the fact that the impacts of ICD-10 have yet to be felt.

“It’s a little too early to do an end-zone dance,” Robert Tennant, director of health IT policy for the Medical Group Management Association, told Medscape News. “Give it a few more months and we’ll see more of an impact.”

Still, the generally mild reaction after more than six years of hand-wringing shouldn’t be dismissed. This isn’t a case of much ado about nothing. This is a case study for being prepared.

“The hype was real,” said Warren Hansen, ICD-10 consultant for Optum360. “If a provider went through the conversion and it shaped up to be a non-event, that is a direct result of the preparation work they likely did for three-to-four years. Without all that effort, the ICD-10 transition would have been a ‘can we keep our doors open?’ event. The fact that it’s not says a lot about the people who pushed for preparation.”

“The HIPAA 5010 implementation was another big change; the industry didn't really prepare for that and it had a significant impact,” said Metra Gipson, an Optum360 ICD-10 consultant, referring to the general lack of readiness that caused CMS to delay enforcement of the updated data transfer standard.

The industry will learn more about the effects of ICD-10 in the coming months. Health information management (HIM) and revenue cycle leaders will be looking at changes in denials, A/R days and case mix index. But coders and other HIM professionals should take pride in the fact that the ICD-10 conversion was seen as anti-climactic.


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