ICD-10 Upgrades – Are We All Systems Go?

Posted on June 5, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I thought that Brad’s characterization of ICD-10 as an upgrade to a system was pretty intriguing. I don’t think most people view it as an upgrade to a system, but a new layer of regulation. Although, maybe we’re just playing with words.

I recently asked a coding expert whether they thought that ICD-10 was finally going to happen or whether it would be delayed again. His response to me was that the republican leadership now sees last years delay of ICD-10 as a major cost to the US health system. So, he said that there’s no way they’re going to delay ICD-10 again.

I’ve seen some of the verbiage coming out of congress as far as the cost of an ICD-10 delay. I’m not sure I trust those numbers, but there are some in congress who have seen those numbers and believe that another delay in ICD-10 would cost the people in the US a lot of money. That’s a powerful force for keeping the current ICD-10 timeline. However, I still know there are a number of people in congress who see the ICD-10 law as a cost much bigger than any costs thanks to a delay. I don’t see these people letting up.

So, I’m not as confident as my coding expert friend that ICD-10 will not be delayed. I think there’s still some risk that another ICD-10 delay could be tagged on to some other unrelated, but important legislation and slips through. However, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money down on ICD-10 not being delayed any more. The advocates for no more ICD-10 delay are much better organized this year and I think their message is getting across to the right people in Washington.

Either way, I think that a healthcare organization has to be prepared for ICD-10 this year. Not doing to is putting the financial health of your healthcare organization at risk. We’d all love some assurance that indeed ICD-10 won’t be delayed anymore. However, I don’t think we’re going to get it. We have what we have and most signs I’ve seen point to no more delay to ICD-10. My suggestion would be to make sure you and your IT systems are prepared for the change. About time for us to start rolling up our ICD-10 preparation posts again.