Capitol Hill is paying a lot of attention to ICD-10 implementation

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Next week will be a big one for the ICD-10 debate. The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA),  has scheduled a hearing on "Examining ICD-10 Implementation" for 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

There isn't a list of witnesses yet. But expect representatives from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and American Medical Association (AMA) at least.

There are plans to livestream it at

This comes a day after the Coalition for ICD-10 sponsors a Capitol Hill Briefing. They will present updates about ICD-10 implementation progress and why the Oct. 1 transition is needed. They plan to speak about:

  • Small Rural Provider Readiness“What’s all the hype about? We’re ready to go!” Edward Burke, M.D. and Phillip Beyer, D.O.; Beyer Medical Group, Fredericktown, MO.
  • The Countdown to ICD-10 for Hospitals“How a children’s health system plans to improve care for pediatric patients” David W. West, M.D., Medical Director Health Informatics & Business Partners, Nemours Children’s Health System
  • Physician Office ManagementTransition is Manageable: New Survey Results on Physician Office Cost by the Medical Office Managers. Karen Blanchette, MBA; Association Director, Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)
  • Payor Readiness“We have been/continue to test – the system is ready.” George Vancore, Sr. Manager, Systems Integrator and Business Architect, Delivery Systems Mandates and Compliance, Florida Blue.

Don't forget that the General Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that CMS is working on addressing ICD-10 concerns. Which is better than a report saying that CMS is blowing it off. Otherwise, it's not going to mean a lot in the ICD-10 debate.

What will matter?

Wednesday's hearing will be a good indication of how likely Congress will support another delay. If you hear a lot about Obamacare and bureaucratic burden from committee members, that's not good.

But pay attention to the Coalition for ICD-10 presentations. They stand to make a lot of progress in ICD-10 education that could make a difference on Wednesday and when someone tries to slip an anti-ICD-10 amendment in legislation.

Three Strategies to Help Your Practice Embrace ICD-10

  1. Address physician's fears
  2. Get everyone involved
  3. "You have to find something that makes them want to make the change."

(Physicians Practice)

MU Pressure Eases; ICD-10 Uncertainty Continues

CHIME president Russell P. Branzell explains his problems with ICD-10 delays:

"Every year you're costing us millions and millions and millions of dollars of rework, so either do it, or don't delay it for another 12 months. That's crazy. Either delay it for five years or just take it off the table, but don't keep doing this to us every year."

(HealthLeaders Media)

National Provider Calls: ICD-10 Implementation and Medicare Testing

The 1:30-3 p.m. Feb. 26 call from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will focus on:

  • Participating in acknowledgement and end-to-end testing
  • Results from previous acknowledgement and end-to-end testing weeks
  • National implementation update
  • Provider resources

(MLN Connects)

10 ICD-10 Questions you MUST ask your software vendor P.1 (P. 2)

  1. "When will my ICD-10 upgrade be completely completed?"
  2. "Will there be downtime as a result of the deployment?"
  3. "Does your vendor offer training on new aspects of the software related to ICD-10?"
  4. "Since testing is the next big milestone on the horizon, what is the vendor doing on your behalf in regards to scheduling the testing, coordinating the test schedule with all the key players (you, your clearinghouse, and the payer)."
  5. "When are we going to be able to dual code?"
  6. "Will this major ICD-10 upgrade delete any existing user customization?"
  7. "When will our Problem List be ready to go?"
  8. "When will our templates be ready to go?"
  9. "Is there a cost to the upgrade?"
  10. "How long will the vendor support ICD-9?"

(Denny Flint)

ICD-10: What to Expect

Three tips for seamless integration:

  1. "Provide Training"
  2. "Do Acknowledgement Testing"
  3. "Perform End-to-End Testing"

(HealthWorks Collective)

3 Threats to Medical Practice Revenue This Year: How to Fight Back

  • One threat is ICD-10 compliance.
  • To deal with it, post suggest getting ready now.


Testing for ICD-10 Does NOT Imply Compliance

"Transcript" from a Twitter chat on ICD-10 testing. There's a feeling that not enough healthcare providers are prepared. (GoKareo · Storify)

Coding association predicts a smooth transition to ICD-10

  • The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) says most of its members are happy with how the November acknowledgement testing went.
  • Perhaps ICD-10 implementation won't be as onerous as thought.
  • And it looks less expensive than thought.

(Medical Economics)

ICD-10: 7 tips for hiring savvy coders

  1. "Look for job flexibility."
  2. "Seek those who value lifelong learning. ”
  3. "Make effective communication skills a priority."
  4. "Seek a well-rounded candidate."
  5. "Test for accuracy.”
  6. "Don’t wait for the perfect candidate."
  7. "Stay focused on the present with an eye toward the future."

(Medical Practice Insider)