Posted on May 28, 2014

The Test You Put Off Studying for Just Got Postponed

The recent delay for the deadline on the implementation of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) ICD-10 has provided quite a bit of relief for many healthcare professionals. However, this does not mean we can start slacking about making the transition. Here are 3 lies we need to stop telling ourselves about switching to ICD-10 even if we do have a little more time now.

For some medical practices, the delay in implementing the ICD-10 coding set from Oct. 1, 2014, to Oct. 1, 2015, was a disappointment, having spent months preparing and testing for readiness.  For others, it was a blessing, as October 2014 was fast approaching, but their readiness was slow in developing. – See more at:

“Now that it’s delayed we have plenty of time.”

While you may be breathing a sigh of relief that the implementation of ICD-10 has been pushed to October of 2015, you’re not completely off the hook. The transition to ICD-10 has proven to be both costly and overwhelming to many practices. The delay does provide a bit more time but practices should use that time to finish the transition and be prepared to implement the new set of codes.

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To ease this transition we suggest establishing a transition team or coordinator who will lead the transition for your team. In addition, determine exactly how ICD-10 will affect your organization by going over where and how you currently use ICD-9 codes. Find out who has been educated so far and who still needs to be. Then set up a timeline that identifies the tasks that need to be completed to transition.

“The ICD-10 transition won’t be that hard.”

You have probably heard from some practices things like “oh we have everything we need, we just have to do it.” It turns out the actual process is incredibly time consuming and labor intensive. Most practices are surprised by the true amount of time, money and other resources they put into this transition. Not only are there significantly more codes in the ICD-10 set but the transition requires things like working with your billing and IT staff as well.

One benefit of the transition is that the extra time allows practices to evenly distribute their resources over a longer period instead of trying to deal with the costs right away. While this doesn’t make the transition itself easier, it may make handling the cost of doing so a bit easier.

“Nobody even uses it yet/knows it yet.”

According to AHIMA, at least 25,000 students who are learning medical codes are being exclusively taught ICD-10 codes at this point. In addition, many physician offices and hospitals have started the final stages of this comprehensive transition to the new set of codes. In fact, even the CMS and NCHS, the committee responsible for officially updating the current code set, changed the group’s name to the ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee. The United States remains one of the only developed countries that has not made the transition to ICD-10 or a clinical modification.

Consider your options. There are multiple ways you can transition your practice into using ICD-10. You can try traditional in-person training in a classroom or opt for an online solution such as audio conferencing or web-based training programs. Those who need to be educated can be trained together in a group at once or you can select a small group to train separately and once they’ve mastered it they could assist the rest of the team.

ICD 10, OSHA compliance, OSHA training

Have suggestions on managing the transition to ICD-10? Share with us in the comments section below!