Archive for April, 2014

April 3, 2014

Changes in Latitudes: Where ICD-10 is and where it is going by Teresa Northcutt RN, BSN, HCS-D, COS-C

You’ve probably heard the news – ICD-10 implementation has been postponed until at least October 1, 2015.  Whether you are relieved or disappointed with the delay, we all have questions:  Do we keep training in ICD-10 coding or go back to ICD-9 education?  Will there be updates to ICD-9 codes this October?  Will there be changes to the ICD-10 code set before 10/1/2015?  What happens with OASIS-C1?  Why not just forget about ICD-10 since we don’t know if it will even start in 2015??

We don’t know all the answers to these questions, but we DO know we have to revise our ICD-10 planning and timelines.  One of the biggest concerns for ICD-10 implementation is the impact on productivity – clinicians will need to provide more detailed assessment documentation, coders will need extra time to code in ICD-10 (especially if they have to track down additional information to assign the most accurate and specific codes).  Take advantage of this extra 12 months to focus training for clinical staff and coders that will provide immediate benefits and set your agency up for success when ICD-10 is finally implemented.  Improve your clinical staff’s knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, practice assessment skills and enhance documentation details to meet current CMS requirements and coder information needs.   Train coders to stay up-to-date in ICD-9, learn the ICD-10 guidelines, and continue to practice to gain speed and proficiency in ICD-10 coding.

As home health providers, one of our greatest strengths is dealing with the unexpected – the ICD-10 delay is just one more challenge we must turn to our advantage!