"ICD-10 is the 800-pound gorilla in the room," said Lisa Miller, CIO of Xeohealth and co-chair of the WEDI workgroup assigned to the ICD transition. Although the deadline for implementation of the ICD-10 code set is not until Oct. 2013, the industry needs to be gearing up now, Miller urged during a presentation at the HIMSS 2010 Conference in Atlanta.

Miller cautioned attendees to not underestimate the difficulty of transitioning to the new code set, which greatly expands the number of procedure and diagnosis codes under ICD-9. The new set will move to 87,000 procedure codes, up from 11,000 in current use. In addition, ICD-10 requires a much higher level of granularity around procedures, including such details as whether a surgery was performed on the right or left side of the patient.

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