During the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's 2012 conference in Las Vegas, representatives from two health IT associations introduced a no-cost online tool for health care providers who have not yet started preparing for ICD-10, Healthcare Finance News reports. Summaries of additional news from the HIMSS conference are provided below.
HIMSS, AHIMA Introduce ICD-10 Tool
During a HIMSS symposium on ICD-10, HIMSS and the American Health Information Management Association launched a no-cost online tool to give health care providers a timeline to prepare for the ICD-10 transition (Manos, Healthcare Finance News, 2/21).
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, 2/21).
The new tool from HIMSS and AHIMA -- called "ICD-10 Critical Pathway for Getting Started -- 2012 and Beyond" -- provides a 20-month timeline divided into eight phases of preparation for the ICD-10 transition (Manos, Healthcare Finance News, 2/21).
Official Forecasts Future of Military Health IT
During a HIMSS session on military health IT, Karen Guice -- acting CIO of the Military Health System -- outlined her agency's future health IT plans, Government Health IT reports.
Guice said that MHS has established five principles for its health IT projects, which are:
- Bringing projects to market quickly;
- Enabling requirements to drive decisions on solutions;
- Ensuring each step of a health IT project is strategic;
- Establishing transparent management; and
- Partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs when possible (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 2/21).
Experts Discuss Importance of Health IT Performance Measures
During a HIMSS session on quality measures, Janet Corrigan -- president and CEO of the National Quality Forum -- discussed the importance of using performance measures for health IT, Healthcare IT News reports.
She called for quality "measures and incentives at every level -- embedded in the payment programs and public reporting efforts at every layer of the health care system." Corrigan added that such measures would be essential for implementing the federal health reform law (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 2/21).
Health IT Industry Should Embrace Marketing, Experts Say
During a HIMSS session on marketing, experts discussed the importance of promoting health IT projects, CMIO reports.
Steven Bennett -- vice president at Kirby Partners in Heathrow, Fla. -- said that health IT has evolved in the past 25 years to become a strategic catalyst for growth. That change requires IT departments to embrace marketing strategies, he said.
Charles Christian -- CIO of Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind. -- noted that marketing does not stop after a project goes live (Fratt, CMIO, 2/21).
Outpatient Registries Needed for Quality Improvement, Expert Says
During a HIMSS session about outpatient registries, Alan Balch -- vice president of the Preventive Health Partnership -- discussed how such registries can be used to improve preventive health outcomes, CMIO reports.
He said improved documentation is needed to help boost quality. The lack of such documentation could prevent a health care provider from considering certain treatments and ways to monitor health conditions, he said (Cadet, CMIO, 2/21).
Aetna CEO Discusses Insurers' Use of IT
During a HIMSS session on health insurers' use of IT, Mark Bertolini -- CEO, chair and president of Aetna -- said insurers can better equip health care providers to serve patients and cut costs by leveraging mobility, social and cloud technologies, Health Data Management reports.
He said that the use of IT tools and insurer-provider partnerships can make health care more convenient for patients (Kenealy, Health Data Management, 2/21).
For additional coverage of the ongoing HIMSS conference, see today's iHealthBeat feature.