We are now two years away from the deadline for ICD-10 implementation. That seems like a long time but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave us an extra year because of a state of unreadiness. So today is a good day to get your ICD-10 transition project on track.
Start with a timeline. In February, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) created an eight-phase timeline. It was based upon the 2013 deadline and got lost amidst all the buzz about the impending delay.
But I'm dusting it off and adding a year to the deadlines. Crude, yes. But it's meant to be inspiration, not a blueprint. Here are the deadlines:
- March 31, 2013: Internal impact assessment. Figure out how the ICD-10 codes will affect everyone in your organization.
- May 31, 2013: External impact assessment. Understand how ICD-10 implementation will affect your payers, vendors and other partners. How will you support their compliance?
- May 31, 2013: Baseline budget formulation. Figure out how much the ICD-10 transition will cost.
- Through June 31, 2013: Education. Raise awareness of ICD-10 requirements and perhaps formal training for key personnel.
- Dec. 31, 2013: Business process changes. Upgrade systems, procedures and technologies.
- March 31, 2014: Internal testing and validation. ICD-10 codes must work in all aspects of your organization.
- Sept. 30, 2014: External testing and validation. Test your transactions and medical claims with all your partners.
CMS has a more detailed timeline and implementation guide for small providers on its website.
The deadlines are out of date but using them as a rough guide, you can see what's involved. I'm going to be blending the resources together to help you understand what's needed.