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Medicare Confirms ICD-10 Implementation Date Will Not Change!

Last month, Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reiterated that the ICD-10 implementation deadline of Oct 1, 2014 is here to stay.  This means that health care organizations need to start working on their ICD-10 implementation plan ASAP.

Recent survey results show that a very large number of small to mid-sized hospitals have yet to start any form of education or training for their respective coders and clinical staff.  ICD-10 utilizes over 72,000 procedure codes, a tremendous increase from ICD 9’s 4,000 procedure codes.  Documentation by physicians must capture the specificity of the ICD-10 implementation. 

The lack of planning and implementation is consistent with the feedback we have received during all of our health care update sessions in the fall of 2012. Failure to properly educate and prepare coders and clinicians in a timely fashion greatly threatens the respective hospital/health care organization’s revenue cycle.

We recommend to our hospital and health care organization clients that they take the necessary steps to properly prepare for the ICD-10 transition.  These steps include: ICD-10 education sessions, a documentation and revenue risk review, creation of a customized implementation plan, and, finally, a post-implementation assessment.

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