ICD- 10 SUMMIT WRAP-UP
“We need project
managers to raise
their hands, ask
and step in front
of the train in
order to keep an
the right path
DOCUMENTATION, DELAY IMPACTS, STUBBORN PHYSICIANS
TOP SUMMIT TOPICS
The proposed ICD- 10 delay and how it impacts industry preparation plans was
one of several hot topics permeating two days of sessions at the summit. This
concern was reiterated during the final session of the summit, “Reflections of the
2012 ICD- 10 Summit Reactor Panel,” where presenters and subject matter expert
attendees recapped their main takeaways from the event.
One main point: many attendees were on track to meet the October 1, 2013
deadline and are against any delay of ICD- 10. The audience cheered when panel
member Dr. Jeff Linzer, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, frankly stated
that a delay is not necessary and the industry needs to stand behind the original
“We have known about this since 2009, with the proposed rule in 2008. The
industry has put a lot of money into the 2013 deadline. If you are not ready, then
shame on you,” Linzer said.
Panelist Melody Mulaik, MSHS, CPC, RCC, with the Healthcare Billing and Management Association, said during the session that regardless of the final delay
timeline, CMS needs to conduct some damage control and reiterate that it means
business on ICD- 10.
“I want to get them to promise that this is it, and we will see a hard and fast
date,” Mulaik said.
If ICD- 10 is delayed, the industry should make the most of it and further their
testing of the system—another hot topic of discussion. Whether they believed a
delay was necessary or not, all presenters agreed that organizations should treat
it as an opportunity for ICD- 10 improvement.
“Don’t slow down, and if you haven’t started, start now” was a rallying cry
heard throughout the summit, according to Faith C.M. McNicholas, CPC, CPCD,
PCS, CDC, manager, coding and reimbursement/government affairs, at the American Academy of Dermatology, who moderated the panel.
(toward ICD- 10
MBA, PMP, CISA, managing director,
with risk and business consulting firm
PARTIAL CODE FREEZE WILL REMAIN THROUGH ICD- 10 DELAY
A one-year delay of ICD- 10 compliance will push back scheduled ICD- 10 coding
updates while maintaining the partial ICD- 9 coding freeze currently in place,
according to a presentation given by Pat Brooks, RHIA, senior technical advisor at
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
After the last regular coding update in October 2011, CMS instituted a partial
code freeze that only allows code updates for new technology or diseases. That
freeze was to be lifted on October 1, 2014—one year after the original ICD- 10
implementation deadline. Once the delay was announced in February, many
industry representatives asked CMS what would happen to the code freeze,
Brooks said during her presentation.
“We will extend the partial freeze through the delay of ICD- 10,” Brooks said.
The first regular update to ICD- 10 would be one year after the implementation
deadline—October 1, 2015, if the HHS-proposed implementation date of October
1, 2014 is instituted after a rulemaking process.
The plethora of CMS resources that can be used to aid the ICD- 10 implementation was also discussed at the session. ICD-10-CM/PCS teleconferences, training
aids, and General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) are just a few of the resources
that healthcare stakeholders were encouraged to use in their transitions.
While the GEMs do enable the conversion of data from ICD- 9 to ICD- 10, Brooks
reminded the audience they should only be used temporarily. “GEMs are not a
substitute for learning how to code,” she said.