Experts Consider Value of ICD-10

Implementation of ICD-10, or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, is on the horizon. This significant, next-generation change in the health information technology field will be used for everything from billing and measuring quality to managing population health.

Implementation of ICD-10, or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, is on the horizon. This significant, next-generation change in the health information technology field will be used for everything from billing and measuring quality to managing population health.

While full implementation isn’t scheduled until October 1, 2014, many medical groups and health systems are ensuring that they are ready for the transition, even though many professionals have already been integrating ICD-10 for several years now. Not having the coordination in place that is required to support the new classification system could affect care delivery and even costs.

Following in the footsteps of a troublesome healthcare exchange website launch, some are concerned about the coding efficiency in ICD-10. Medical coders trialing the coding system found that it produced accurate results less than two-thirds of the time. For example, a case of acute gastritis without bleeding was coded accurately 100% of the time in one batch or “wave” of test results, while “chest pain, unspecified” was coded accurately in only 34% of records tested in a different batch.

“Among the most critical aspects of implementing the ICD-10 transition is the challenge and the complexity of end-to-end testing,” reported 2 healthcare IT industry groups. “This is a challenge weighing heavily on the minds of payers, providers, vendors, and business partners alike as it is perceived to be costly and burdensome—requiring trained personnel, a well-planned and fully funded testing plan and process, and possibly the assistance of external support.”

Lisa Gallagher, vice president of technology solutions at HIMSS, says that testing the program for problems is necessary to avoid the pitfalls that Healthcare.gov experienced. “This is an example of how folks should collaborate to do their testing,” she said. “It’s people working together. You can do testing however you want, but a collaborative effort is the only way we’re going to get across the finish line.”

Around the Web

A Make-or-Break Year for Health IT [Modern Healthcare]

Accuracy of Coding in ICD-10 Pilot Varies, Report Says [Modern Healthcare]