AHIMA gives Capitol Hill some good arguments for ICD-10 implementation

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Maybe the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) should take its show on the road.

I'm talking about Sue Bowman, AHIMA’s senior director of coding policy and compliance, and company presenting the ICD-10 briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The company she brought included:

  • Jeffrey F. Linzer, Sr., M.D.; Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia – See Slides
  • Gail Eminhizer, CMM, CGCS, HITCM-PP, Practice Administrator, Digestive Health Associates of Northern Michigan, P.C.; Traverse City, MI; PAHCOM – See Slides
  • Sandra J Wolfskill, FHFMA, Director, Healthcare Finance Policy, Revenue Cycle MAP; Chardon, OH; HFMA – See Slides
  • Thomas Pacek, Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Information Officer, Inspira Health Network, Bridgeton, NJ – See Slides
  • John S. Hughes, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine; New Haven, CT – See Slides
  • Dennis Winker, Director, Technical Program Management and ICD-10; Rochester Hills, MI; BCBS MI – See Slides

Bowman's ICD-10 briefing slides are available also. It's probably not good to judge a presentation by its slideshow but I like what I see.

In particular, I would like to hear more from Linzer. He made the point that the reason that the reason why there are so many diagnosis codes is "Some medical societies wanted to take advantage of increased clinical specificity."

In other words, it wasn't government bureaucrats, it was physicians who are to "blame."

For example, "sucked into jet engine" (V97.33) was requested by the Department of Defense. (OK, military bureaucrats)  They wanted to differentiate military vs. non-military  accidents.

None of the slideshows are long so it's worth going through all of them. There was one from Hughes that's especially worth reading. It has the following list:

  • E8003 Railway accident involving collision with rolling stock and injuring
    pedal cyclist
  • E8284 Accident involving animal being ridden injuring occupant of streetcar
  • E8400 Accident to powered aircraft at takeoff or landing injuring occupant of
  • E9054 Centipede and venomous millipede (tropical) bite causing poisoning
    and toxic reactions
  • E9093 Collapse of dam or man-made structure
  • E9280 Accident due to prolonged stay in weightless environment
  • E9557 Suicide and self-inflicted injury by paintball gun

By the way, that's a list of ICD-9 codes.

There's nothing funny about suicide — even if it was done with a paintball gun. But absurdity was not invented by the ICD-10 code set.