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Many smaller hospitals not ready for ICD-10

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 6, 2013

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A survey of small- to mid-sized hospitals finds that many are behind in the transition to ICD-10 coding.

Health Revenue Assurance Associates surveyed 120 hospitals and found that about half are not following the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ timeline for the conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10, which must be completed by October 2014.

The survey found that one in five facilities has not started training or educating staff for the shift. CMS recommends that hospitals begin dual coding and testing in 2013. Twenty-five percent of the respondents plan to start dual coding in January 2014, 24% plan to start in April 2014 and 13% plan to begin in July 2014 or later (link).

The transition means that hospitals and physician practices will change from a code set of 14,000 codes to 69,000.

“The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is equivalent to learning another language; it will not be as easy as flipping a switch. HIM coders must be exposed and then trained on the fundamentals of ICD-10 to ensure that a hospital’s revenue system remains intact and that millions will not be left on the table when the transition takes place,” said Andrea Clark, chief executive officer of HRAA, in a statement.

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