Experts Discuss ICD-10 Delay, Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

During the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's 2012 conference in Las Vegas, representatives of two health IT organizations called for health care providers to continue working to implement ICD-10 code sets, despite recent news about a delay in the federal compliance deadline, Government Health IT reports. Summaries of the ICD-10 symposium and other conference sessions are provided below.

Stakeholders Respond to Potential ICD-10 Deadline Delay

During the HIMSS conference's ICD-10 symposium, Sue Bowman -- director of coding policy and compliance at the American Health Information Management Association -- encouraged health care providers to "stay on course, stay vigilant" in planning and implementing ICD-10 code sets, despite uncertainty about when the compliance deadline will be.

Juliet Santos -- HIMSS senior director of business-centered systems -- said that HIMSS is "staying on course and will continue to support" members who are transitioning to ICD-10 (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 2/20).

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.

Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that HHS will begin a process to delay the Oct. 1., 2013, deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards. Sebelius did not say when the new deadline would be (iHealthBeat, 2/16).

Recommendations on Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

During the HIMSS Meaningful Use symposium, Robert Anthony -- a CMS policy analyst -- outlined the Health IT Policy Committee's recommendations for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Health Data Management reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

According to Anthony, the committee recommended that:

  • Stage 1 menu objectives become core objectives under Stage 2;
  • The required percentage of emergency department prescriptions sent electronically increase from 40% to 60%; and
  • The percentage of orders entered via computerized provider order entry systems increase from 30% to 60% (Goedert, Health Data Management, 2/20).

Health IT To Serve as Foundation of ACOs, Expert Says

During a HIMSS symposium on accountable care organizations, Joe Damore of the health care organization Premier told conference attendees that health IT will serve as the backbone for ACOs, Healthcare IT News reports.

Damore said that ACOs need:

  • Health data exchanges;
  • Consumer health portals;
  • Population health data management systems; and
  • Strong business intelligence and predictive analytics platforms (Pizzi, Healthcare IT News, 2/20).

Stakeholders Discuss Importance of Health IT Usability

During a HIMSS workshop on EHR usability, Edna Boone and Jan Lugibihl -- members of the HIMSS Usability Task Force -- said that usability is one of the main barriers to health IT adoption, Healthcare IT News reports.

Boone and Lugibihl added that health IT vendors seeking to improve EHR usability need to follow a "user-centered design process" that helps users achieve their goals effectively and efficiently (Enrado, Healthcare IT News, 2/20).

Expert Discusses IT Needs of Public Health Agencies

During a HIMSS health information exchange symposium, Seth Foldy -- director of CDC's Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office -- said that public health agencies are having trouble keeping up with the IT changes happening in the health care industry, Health Data Management reports.

Foldy said that public health agencies should replace or upgrade their existing health IT systems to better exchange data with health care providers seeking to meet meaningful use requirements related to public health reporting (Gillespie, Health Data Management, 2/20).

Symposium Examines Evolving Role of CMIOs

During the HIMSS Physician IT symposium, William Bria -- chief medical information officer of Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, Fla. -- said that the role of CMIOs has evolved over the past decade to encompass hundreds of hospital leaders who oversee health IT implementation and optimization, CMIO reports.

Bria added that CMIOs have become key stakeholders in decisions about health IT, care processes and cost savings (Tierney, CMIO, 2/21).

Expert Touts Effective Use of Clinical Decision Support Systems

During a HIMSS panel discussion on clinical informatics, Dean Sittig -- a professor at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics -- said that clinical decision support systems can transform care when used effectively, CMIO reports.

To use the systems effectively, Sittig recommended that users ensure that the tools offer the right information to the right people in the right format (Walsh, CMIO, 2/21).

For additional coverage of the ongoing HIMSS conference, see today's iHealthBeat feature.

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