Apr 11, 2012, 01:00 ET
GREEN BAY, Wis., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IOD Incorporated™, a leading provider of integrated HIM solutions to hospitals, health systems, and physician practices, today announced its response to the Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of a proposed rule to delay ICD-10 from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014.
According to HHS regulations published in 2009, the current ICD-9 code set used to describe medical diagnosis and procedures was to be replaced by new ICD-10 codes beginning October 1, 2013. The new proposed rule postpones that date to 2014.
From the beginning, IOD has taken a proactive approach to ICD-10 through a combination of thought leadership, on-line and classroom education, and focused clinical documentation improvement programs. IOD consultants work with provider facilities across the country to review documentation for physicians and the kind of procedures that generate the highest proportion of their annual billings. The findings are then utilized to generate specific physician education programs and communication protocols between coders and the physician community.
"Organizations must leverage education and training to prepare now, not only to become proficient at code set changes but to make necessary improvements in clinical documentation," said David Van Doren, President of IOD's Coding/HIM Consulting/EMR Abstraction Division. "The implementation delay provides hospitals with the opportunity to pursue clinical documentation improvement initiatives to train their physicians to 'document up to ICD-10', a code set that is predicated on documentation completeness and specificity. Specificity in documentation allows for specificity in coding, so this delay allows providers to focus on the documentation in advance of coder education."
If the new proposed compliance date is enacted, it may be too early to begin formal ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code set training without running the risk of retention loss. However, that does not mean that training efforts should be delayed in their entirety. Organizations should use this opportunity to continue moving forward with their foundational coding training objectives, namely, training related to anatomy and terminology. It is widely understood that ICD-10 places a tremendous amount of emphasis on anatomy and terminology. With the October 1, 2013, deadline quickly approaching, many organizations had not allotted enough time for this important first step. "IOD intends to take full advantage of the opportunities associated with the delay. We will be spreading out our Web-based foundational anatomy and terminology training over a longer period of time, to make sure that we place our coders in the best possible position to master the challenges inherent to the ICD-10 code set," adds Van Doren.
Healthcare organizations should not be lulled into a false sense of comfort by the proposed 12 month extension to the ICD-10 compliance date. The most successful ICD-10 transitions will be realized by those organizations that use the additional time to better prepare their coding staff and clinicians for the multitude of challenges associated with ICD-10.
About IOD Incorporated
With more than 30 years of experience and 1,800 locations nationwide, IOD is the leader in full suite HIM services solutions that help hospitals, IDNs and clinics streamline and simplify HIM workflow. With comprehensive solutions including document conversion, release of information (ROI), coding, auditing, abstracting, ICD-10 transition services, RAC services, along with complete training and HIM consulting, the company empowers healthcare organizations to overcome workflow challenges and focus on their most mission-critical initiatives. The result is improved patient/physician satisfaction, increased HIM efficiencies and a stronger bottom line. For more information visit www.IODincorporated.com.
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