The repeated postponements and delays in setting the transition deadline for ICD 10 coding are raising new concerns in the healthcare industry. Many industry leaders are wondering whether the transition from ICD 9 to ICD 10 will ever get done. Already, it is becoming clear that the Federal Government might have to further extend the ICD 10 implementation deadline.
Federal Government urged to be stricter about ICD 10 implementation
Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are indeed lagging behind in implementing the ICD 10 coding system. And, these organizations are piling up the pressure on the legislators to delay the ICD 10 deadline date once again. This is a cause of concern for many leading hospitals in the field.
Recent reports indicate that most of the leading hospitals are well on their way to fulfilling the ICD 10 requirements and many of them have already installed the necessary ICD 10 coding software and have started training the staff. However, not every healthcare organization is finding it easier to make this transition.
ICD 10 system is much more complicated the ICD 9 coding system used so far. This involves replacing the old 14,000 codes with 69,000 new ones, which provides specific codes for describing many newly discovered medical conditions. This is certainly a benefit to all parties involved in the healthcare industry including the patients.
For example, in the ICD 10 coding system, the number of available codes for recording the whole spectrum of Autism disorders and related symptoms is set to increase five times. This provides more accurate information to the doctors and healthcare professionals, who are treating the patient.
However, this involves a complete overhaul of the existing software systems in hospitals and clinics across the country. Also, the fact that many hospitals do not even have the necessary Health IT infrastructure in place makes this even difficult. They are still using the old paper file system. The transition to ICD-10 as well as implementing the EHR solutions as recommended by the Federal Government will therefore be much more expensive to such organizations.
But, instead of extending the deadline again and again, the Federal Government needs to ensure ICD 10 compliance within the stipulated time. They need to introduce more incentives and penalties to steer the project forward. In fact, repeated postponements will result in a situation where the organizations will stop to take the deadline seriously.
Implementing ICD 10 system is certainly beneficial and the Federal Government needs to get this done at the earliest.