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HIMSS Dismayed at ICD-10 Delay

February 17, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Chicago-based Healthcare Information Management and System Society (HIMSS) has come out in favor of maintaining the original ICD-10 implementation deadline of Oct. 1, 2013. Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius said the ICD-10 compliance deadline would be delayed. HIMSS said it conducted provider-based research which suggests that most of the larger providers are taking the necessary steps to be ready for ICD-10 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) existing regulatory time frame.

The research, to be released at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition next week in Las Vegas, indicates nearly 90 percent of the 302 healthcare IT executives responding to HIMSS’ 23rd Annual Leadership Survey said they expect to complete the conversion to ICD-10 by the deadline.  In fact, two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) indicated that implementing ICD-10 continues to be their top focus for financial IT systems. 

HIMSS says there is achievable value in the adoption of ICD-10 by Oct 1, 2013 to most healthcare stakeholders.  Its members suggest that any delay in the implementation of ICD-10 could result in additional provider costs.  Examples of these costs include maintaining two separate systems, retaining the services of consultants for longer than anticipated, and re-training staff. That is on top of multi-million dollar financial investments that have been budgeted to meet the ICD-10 deadline.  These investments include, but are not limited to, related activities such as training, securing project resources, obtaining consultants and performing vendor analyses. Nineteen percent of respondents to the HIMSS Leadership Survey said their organization had spent more than $1 million on the conversion to ICD-10.

Other reasons HIMSS points to for keeping the deadline intact is that ICD-10 is at the very basic foundation for other healthcare transformation efforts, including Meaningful Use and continued use of ICD-9, with its limited codes, will hinder progress towards clinical best practice and evidence-based medicine.

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