Healthcare News & Insights

5 ICD-10 tasks providers should have finished by now

Recent reports have shown that many healthcare facilities have fallen behind in getting ready for ICD-10 implementations. But what tasks should providers be completing around this time?

The new set of ICD-10 codes will replace the thirty-year-old ICD-9 codes on October 1, 2013. That’s nearly two years from now, but considering the scope of the change, experts agree it’s not a lot of time.

That’s why healthcare providers should be actively preparing for the ICD-10 switch now. Here are the tasks the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recommends organizations should have finished by now:

1. Form a steering committee and assign a project manager — This committee is in charge of all aspects of the ICD-10 transition, and therefore should include representatives from every area that is affected by the transition — including IT, medical staff, coding staff, senior management and finance. The project manager should be charged with scheduling regular meetings so the implementation can continuously move forward.

2. Educate all stakeholders — Like any big project, the ICD-10 transition will only be successful if all the people involved are committed to making it work. That’s why organizations must communicate with management, IT, doctors and other affected people about the transition, why it’s important, and what they will need to do before, during and after the implementation.

3. Conduct a readiness and impact assessment — Organization must look at all areas that will be affected the use of new ICD-10 codes. Providers should consider all software systems, paper workflows and staff skills to determine what steps must be taken to get everything ready for the transition — for example, what software upgrades must be made in order to make systems compatible with ICD-10.

4. Formulate an implementation budget — Once all the steps that must be taken have been figured out, organizations can begin to tally up the expected costs of the implementation.

5. Assess vendor readiness — In addition to organizations getting ready for an ICD-10 implementation, they must also make sure all the vendors and service providers they work with will be ready in time for the deadline. To read more about what to ask vendors to determine ICD-10 readiness, click here.

For more on getting ready for an ICD-10 implementation, download AHIMA’s full checklist here.

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