Innovation Pulse: ICD-10 – Pick your own adventure

Innovation Pulse: ICD-10 – Pick your own adventure

Charting a proper course might lead to a veritable treasure trove of data. Or providers could lose their way and smash into sunken productivity.

Even though it has felt, perhaps, as if the opposite was true for several years, hospitals and medical practices are captains of their own ICD-10 ships — a fact that’s more apparent now, literally days from shore, than ever before.

A caveat: If Congress has somehow sunk the ICD-10 boat with a piece of last-minute legislation between the time I scribed this and the moment you’re gazing upon it, well, then either bookmark it for future reference or tear this page out and peg it to your office wall.

But as of now, as masters at the wheel, it’s imperative to navigate past the cliffs of productivity, avoid floating in irons otherwise known as minimum compliance, and chase that chest – the one containing riches in the form of more granular patient data.

Ready to hoist anchor and begin the journey?

Hospital leaders already educating staff and training coders might as well look beyond the cliffs and skip to Chapter 2.

Data-savvy CIOs and their IT shops, meanwhile – the ones that have remediated systems, mapped out analytics tactics and plotted ways to put ICD-10 data to work – can bypass both chapters and head straight to the pot of population health gold.

Chapter 1: About those cliffs
Much the way explorers once believed the world to be flat – that if one sailed far enough into the horizon boat and crew would ultimately fall off the world’s edge and meet their makers – the productivity of medical coders is widely expected to tumble over a cliff come Oct. 1, 2015.

ICD-10-CM and its approximately 69,000 diagnosis codes (ICD-9 has about 14,000), the dissenting argument goes, will require more effort to locate codes – the idea being that clinicians previously selecting from a handful of options to find a patient’s condition will now have to pinpoint the best one among a greater number.

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