Moving Forward on ICD-10

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Vice President, Product Management and Marketing, McKesson

Deadline Nears for Home Health ICD-10 TransformationWill the new Oct. 1, 2014, deadline to adopt ICD-10 classification codes be the final word? Horizon Homecare™ and Horizon Hospice™ already include both ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets, and agencies should begin dual coding as soon as possible so their staff can become familiar with the changes, which are significant.

The announcement last month drew mixed reviews from the industry. The American Medical Association (AMA) wanted a longer delay than one year, and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is seeking a pilot program. On the other side, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) both expressed their support.

So what do I think? I believe this change has been coming for some time and that the industry is ready to move forward. The ruling brings clarity to an issue that’s been hanging over our heads for some time.

Here are a few facts about the International Classification of Diseases you may not realize:

  • ICD-9 code sets have been in use since the mid-1970s and are considered obsolete.
  • ICD-10 has been used in some countries since 1994.
  • The United States is the only developed country that has not adopted ICD-10.
  • The World Health Organization has been working on ICD-11 for years and expects to complete that version in 2015.

The news release from the Department of Health and Human Services states that the industry will save up to $6 billion over 10 years by adopting the standard. It also will put us on equal footing with the rest of the developed world – at least for a few years.

Learn more about the benefits of using home health software to ensure compliance during the transition to ICD-10.

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