There’s been a lot of debate this year about the upcoming deadline for ICD-10 implementation. People in favor of ICD-10 continually note how the current ICD-9 code set is extremely limited and that here is a great need for data that is more robust. People against ICD-10 have several main arguments, including the expenses and complications associated with implementation and some remaining shortcomings in the ICD-10 code set.
But ICD-10 is coming, which means it’s time for health care organizations to stop thinking about “what if ICD-10 is implemented?” and more about “what comes after ICD-10 implementation?”
It’s safe to say that at this point, there’s no such thing as a classification system that’s going to solve all of the problems associated with billing and data, or even fill all of the needs that exist for any given health care organization.
There are, however, some things that we can think about to prepare ourselves for what are certain to be some prominent issues once ICD-10 is actually implemented and organizations have had some time to adjust to the new system. These things to think about include:
- Making sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Coming out of the transition, it’s important to make sure providers are somehow rewarded for having invested in the switch over to ICD-10. What those sort of rewards might look like is up for debate, but it’s a good idea to incentivize the transition in some way.
- Determining the exact industry needs not met by ICD-10. We already know the system is going to have some limitations, but it will take the system actually being implemented before we know the full extent of those limitations.
- Using the data gained through the details provided by ICD-10 to make improvements in care programs.
- Figuring out how to move beyond ICD to get the kind of strong information required to provide high-quality care to everyone.
As the deadline for ICD-10 implementation draws closer, these are all things health care organizations are going to have to think about in great detail.
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