Do we dare to hope that the message is getting through? After years of being swept out to sea by wave after wave of misinformation, has the tide finally turned for ICD-10?
The patience and persistence of some sharp, dedicated people on the ICD-10 front lines appears to have paid off. Two very encouraging articles have been published on the web recently. The first was posted July 15 in an online version of Time magazine.
Dr. Ricardo Martinez is an ER doctor who is also a consultant to help large hospital systems make the transition to ICD-10. He is the human focus of the article. But the usual ICD-10 background is there, and all of it is cast in a positive light. The tone of the article is so unlike all the rest up to this point. Previous articles seemed to enjoy picking on ICD-10 just because everyone else was.
The second is an interview with Rich Averill of 3M that appeared in Healthcare IT News July 23. It does a brilliant job of getting right to the heart of the matter, with real examples of detail available in ICD-10 codes that could be used in specific ways to cut costs and improve outcomes.
Both articles talk about the increased numbers of ICD-10 codes, and both of them acknowledge that as a good thing. If this keeps up, ICD-10 will suddenly be in vogue for healthcare instead of everybody’s fashion faux pas. Would that be fantastic or what?
Speaking of persistence and patience, Sue Bowman, Director of Coding Policy and Compliance for AHIMA, is giving her classic ICD-10 Basics presentation on August 22nd via the CMS outreach program. Sue has been a voice of clear, calm ICD-10 information for well over ten years, and she has given tens of thousands of listeners a solid ICD-10 introduction with this presentation. Registration is required, and is available at http://www.eventsvc.com/blhtechnologies.
Lastly, I’m going to shamelessly promote an article I helped write. Making any progress against the tide of ICD-10 misinformation was so exhausting that I coauthored an article to debunk the ICD-10 myths and misrepresentations. Along with the other articles and resources mentioned here, this article is offered in the hope that we can sail the ICD-10 tide all the way to October 2014.
Rhonda Butler is a Senior Clinical Research Analyst with 3M Health Information Systems.