A new, free report from consulting firm Computer Sciences Corp. examines the data crosswalks, particularly a bi-directional crosswalk, that will be required to transition from the ICD-9 code sets to ICD-10.

The Falls Church, Va.-based consultancy notes that with many items at the top of priority lists, few health organizations are far along in their preparations for the new diagnosis and procedure codes, which have a compliance date of 2013.

"The sheer magnitude of the business process and technology changes that are required for ICD-10 implementation may be a deterrent to assessment and planning as well," according to the report. "The fact remains, however, that organizations that have not begun their ICD-10 remediation efforts are at risk of missing the current deadlines. What's equally clear is that the deadlines are unlikely to be adjusted again."

Tips in the report, "ICD-10 Implementation: Objects On The Horizon Are Closer Than You Think," include:

* It is not practical to cut over to ICD-10 all at once. Organizations can expect an extended transition period during which they support both coding systems.

* Crosswalks between ICD-9 and ICD-10 present a particular challenge. ICD-10 has been developed to reflect clinical and technological advances, so there are few one-to-one matches between a code in ICD-9 and its corresponding code in ICD-10.

* A reliable crosswalk solution must function bi-directionally, facilitating the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and also in the opposite direction.

* To succeed in minimizing negative financial and productivity impacts, organizations should analyze existing coding practices and develop crosswalks that address the highest priority codes first.

For a copy of the report, click here.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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