REVISITING ICD-10, AGAIN

I recently attended a congressional staff briefing sponsored by the Coalition for ICD-10, and the takeaway from the panelists was as clear as it gets: don't delay ICD-10 again. A mixture of providers and payers all agreed that the repeated ICD-10 delays have been extremely expensive, and any more delays would be crippling.

Thomas Pacek, the vice president of information systems and chief information officer of the Inspira Health Network in New Jersey, said the latest delay required Inspira to budget an extra $1.2 million for ICD-10 transition. Pacek also said that the delay caused Inspira to reallocate funds from ICD-10 implementation to other HIT initiatives, such as stage two meaningful use attestation.

On the payer side, Dennis Winkler from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan described a collaborative effort to help small providers prepare for ICD-10. The collaboration involves three Michigan payers (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and United Healthcare), and Winkler said the payers are committed to working with the small practices on ICD-10 implementation, not telling them what to do. While the collaboration is only focused on Michigan right now, Winkler said it might serve as a framework for a national program.