The American Health Information Management Association on Monday kicked off its 2014 conference in San Diego with a call to arms regarding ICD-10.
AHIMA this summer launched an advocacy campaign to galvanize its more than 71,000 health information management professionals to make their voices heard in Washington. Since then, members have sent more than 7,000 letters to members of Congress and their staff, as well as 10,000 phone calls. The message: No more delays.
We know that our industry partners are too heavily invested in the future to allow another postponement. There is no way, AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon told the conference during the general session. The ICD-10 experience has taught us so much about advocacy. We know how to stand up for ourselves. We know how to stand up for our patients, and we are not our mothers AHIMA anymore.
Like other industry associations, AHIMA was caught flat-footed in late March when legislative language delaying the ICD-10 deadline until October 1, 2015, was included in H.R. 4302--the Doc-Fix bill. Since then, the group has vowed not to allow another congressionally-driven delay.
However, according to AHIMA officials, another delay to ICD-10 is a very real threat. They say bills in the House and Senate--H.R. 1701 and S. 972--seek to stop the adoption of ICD-10 codes, which lawmakers argue place undue complexity and costs on an already overburdened healthcare system. The Cutting Costly Codes Acts will be active until January 3, 2015 and could also be reintroduced early next year by the new 114th Congress, assert AHIMA officials.
We need to clearly articulate to Congress the value and the impact ICD-10 will have on population health and the consumer, said Angela Kennedy, president of AHIMA, during Mondays general session. We should have been talking about the value of patient information and the classification of disease for population health long before now.
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