Most Providers in Early Stages of Implementing ICD-10, Survey Finds


Most health care provider organizations are in the planning phases of the shift to new ICD-10 medical codes, according to a report published in the winter issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management, CMIO reports (Gale, CMIO, 1/20).


U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.

Health care providers and insurers have until Oct. 1, 2013, to adopt new ICD-10 code sets (iHealthBeat, 1/12).

Report Details

To assess trends, challenges and lessons learned from ICD-10 implementation efforts, researchers from the Georgetown University Student Consulting Team and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton interviewed employees from seven health care organizations in March and April of 2010. One of the organizations asked to be removed from the final results.

Researchers then conducted follow-up interviews with employees from two of the organizations in July 2011.

Key Findings

The report found that health care organizations' ICD-10 implementation efforts followed common trends that included designating a project manager and steering committees to monitor the efforts.

According to the researchers, the organizations faced common challenges that included concerns about regulatory and financial requirements, as well as managing the ICD-10 transition while implementing other new regulations.

The report noted that:

  • Five of the organizations had not yet budgeted significant funding for the transition; and
  • Three of the organizations said training was the most expensive transition component.

In addition, the report noted that:

  • Four of the organizations said they struggled to raise ICD-10 awareness among physicians; and
  • Three of the organizations said they anticipated staffing issues related to the transition.

Finally, researchers identified common lessons learned from implementation efforts, which included:

  • Creating a sense of urgency throughout organizations;
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to collaborate with payers; and
  • Staying up to date on ICD-10 transition news (CMIO, 1/20).

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