Health IT Leaders Call ICD-10 Transition “A Step Forward”

Oct. 1, 2015
Today marks the deadline for ICD-10 code implementation and many health IT leaders have applauded the nationwide transition as a necessary step to build more robust medical records.

Today marks the deadline for ICD-10 code implementation and many health IT leaders have applauded the nationwide transition as a necessary step to build more robust medical records.

In a statement, the Coalition for ICD-10, a broad-based healthcare industry advocacy group, said the transition to ICD-10 “is a historic moment for U.S. healthcare and a major milestone in the evolving transformation of our 21st century healthcare delivery system.”

“As a result of the replacement of the obsolete ICD-9-CM with the more modern ICD-10-CM and ICD-10 PCS code sets, patients can look forward to complete, accurate, up-to-date diagnostic and procedural data necessary to achieve significant advances in the quality of care and more efficient healthcare administrative processes,” according to the statement from the Coalition for ICD-10, which includes among its members hospitals, health plans, hospital and physician office coding experts, vendors and the health information technology (HIT) community.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) also released a statement saying hospital chief information officers (CIOs) are ready for the transition.

“Today the nation’s healthcare system takes a major step forward in being able to capture more detailed data about patients and their conditions. ICD-10 has nearly five times more codes than were used in ICD-9. Building more robust medical records should ultimately result in more efficient and better quality care,” said CHIME Chairman Charles Christian and CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell.

After years of implementing new IT systems, testing and training, hospital CIOs are ready for the switch, Christian and Branzell said in the CHIME statement.

“Most hospitals and health systems have spent the last several months doing end-to-end testing with their payer partners and working to iron out any glitches. Additionally, they’ve spent countless hours training physicians and coders on the intricacies of ICD-10.”

During the weeks and months ahead, CIOs will closely monitor how the transition is going, CHIME said.

Both the Coalition for ICD-10 and CHIME cited the benefits of the new coding system and the broad implications for healthcare delivery.

“The Coalition for ICD-10 is very pleased that the U.S. healthcare industry can finally begin to leverage the many opportunities anticipated by the availability of better healthcare data – including improved patient outcomes, patient safety, and population health, lower healthcare costs, and adoption of new payment models that reward value.”

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