HIMagine That! ICD-10 fallout?

Oct. 26, 2015 / By Sue Belley, RHIA, Donna Smith, RHIA

Donna: Hey, Sue! We haven’t talked since AHIMA. Did you get back in time for ICD-10 go-live?

Sue: Yes, I was in my office, bright and early on October 1. I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to go!

Donna: Well, I talked to a lot of people at AHIMA and it was clear the general mood was one of excitement. Finally, we’re able to move forward with ICD-10 after all these years of preparing and practicing.

Sue: I heard pretty much the same thing. One HIM director captured it perfectly when she said, “Bring it on!” I think everyone was confident, anxious to get going and ready to deal with the fallout, if any.

Donna: Regarding fallout, I’ve been keeping an eye on “the wire” and so far it looks like things are going pretty well. It seems like clearinghouses are not encountering problems – one said there was a 0.3 percent rejection rate. I did read about a small glitch an insurance carrier had with NCDs. CMS reported no problems either.

Sue: I heard there were some small physician offices having problems with code assignment but the majority of physician practices reported no issues. If anything, there were some misses getting requisitions with ICD-10 codes to testing areas for patients who were seen and had testing ordered prior to Oct. 1.

Donna: Still, there’s no question that competition for coders is rough.

Sue: Well, competition for experienced coders has always been somewhat of a challenge and ICD-10 just intensified it.

Donna: Yep! But we’ll get through this. The HIM professionals I spoke with are now turning their attention to evaluating their ICD-10 coded data – scheduling audits to verify coding accuracy and identifying areas that need improvement.

Sue: Let’s check back next month and see what’s happening!

Sue Belley, RHIA, and Donna Smith, RHIA, are project managers with the consulting services business of 3M Health Information Systems.

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