The Other 10/1/13 Milestone
The healthcare IT world is becoming fixated on Oct. 1, 2013. Not only is October 2013 the timeframe that everybody now expects meaningful use Stage 2 will “go live”, it’s also the official cut-over date from the ICD-9 to ICD-10 medical diagnosis coding systems in the U.S. Both events have major implications for healthcare providers and the information systems they use.
While Stage 2 objectives and timing still are taking shape, there is no mystery to ICD-10 – it has existed for nearly 20 years, and it is well entrenched in the healthcare world outside the U.S. In our country, however, there is considerable anxiety about the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Interestingly, the switch-over – with its attendant increase in the number of diagnosis codes, and the complexity that goes with it – is driving fresh interest in electronic charge capture systems at hospitals and medical practice groups.
Many hospitals and practices that have implemented electronic charge capture already are working to ensure a smooth transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Providers who need a push to get off of paper-based charge slips would be well advised to “seize the day”.