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WEDI: Put ICD-10 Extension to Good Use

May 16, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Reston, Va.-based Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a non-profit organization formed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) that focuses on the use of Health IT to improve the exchange of healthcare information, has responded to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the extension of the compliance date from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. WEDI says any extension of time should be put to good use, allowing for more robust assessments, remediation and testing.

The group, which said it could not come to a complete agreement on whether a delay was necessary in the first place, said the extension would provide additional time for vendors to deliver products essential to compliance efforts. It also restates a conclusion by a WEDI Policy Advisory Group held in September 2008: “regardless of the compliance date, the cutover to ICD-10 should begin on a single date and not be staggered.” The non-profit says upholding a single compliance date will facilitate industry implementation by not requiring trading partners to use different code sets on varying dates according to payer or provider readiness.

WEDI says it has conducted ICD-10 readiness surveys to measure the progress of industry compliance since 2009. As an advisor to HHS under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), WEDI brings to the attention of CMS issues that it believes warrant review and consideration from the HHS.  Information collected from these surveys will be used to monitor progress and to help the industry achieve compliance.

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Testing almost always gets short shrift so this idea of leveraging the extra year to do a better job at testing is a great idea. Here are some additional ideas about testing ICD-10 – for payers and providers.

Validating and Verifying Your ICD-10 Remediation Efforts
http://shimcode.blogspot.com/2011/12/validating-and-verifying-your-icd-10.html

6 Questions & Ideas about ICD-10 Testing – For Payers & Providers
http://shimcode.blogspot.com/2011/09/6-questions-ideas-on-icd-10-testing-for.html

Steve S. aka @ShimCode on Twitter

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