Studies split on who's in charge of HIPAA 5010, ICD-10 conversion

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Exactly which C-level executive is driving the HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 initiative within healthcare organizations depends on whom you ask. One survey found that CIOs comprise the overwhelming majority, while another determined that CFOs bear the burden.

ICD10Watch readers indicated that at 75 percent of the institutions polled, the CIO heads up the migration efforts, while 25 percent responded that it's the CFO. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, not a single reader said that it was the CEO spearheading the effort.

[Related: Top 5 ICD-10 myths, debunked. Podcast: Leveraging ICD-10 to clean up your business.]

Noblis, on the other hand, stated in a report that while CFOs are the most common position assuming the lead on HIPAA 5010/ICD-10, that responsibility is broadly distributed. Indeed, Noblis found that when it comes to HIPAA 5010, 43 percent of CFOs are leading the way, while for ICD-10 that's 52 percent. CIOs constitute 18 and 15 percent, respectively.

Large healthcare organization CFOs are typically “well versed in coding,” because “they tie a lot of what is submitted on claims to their finances,” explains Deborah Grider, vice president of strategic development at the American Academy of Professional Coders. “Many CFOs in large medical groups have a basic understanding of coding. Coding drives reimbursement.”

It's not just CFO vs. CIO, of course; COOs and chief medical officers, too, take the project helm within some organizations.

While C-level executives steer both HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10, the migration by no means stops with them. “It's important to note that the expectation with ICD-10 is for major business process changes to occur,” said a project manager at a major health system. “Although IT may lead the program, the design and ownership of the changes will belong to the impacted business areas.”

All of this triggers the question: Who's driving the conversions in your healthcare organization? Comment below.