3 Preparation Steps for ICD-10 to Start Now, Despite CMS News

 Planning for ICD-10 transition

Today, on Valentine’s Day 2012, CMS warmed the hearts of those pushing for change in the ICD-10 compliance deadline. Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS Administrator of the CMS, told reporters the CMS will “re-examine the timeframe” through a rulemaking process. However, don’t stop preparing now; we don’t know what and if anything will change.

There are so many healthcare initiatives in play today including:

  • Regulatory and reimbursement changes
  • Accountable care organizations and medical homes
  • Electronic health records
  • Meaningful use and more

All of these require the time and attention of you and others within your practice or organization…and the good thing is many run parallel to the efforts needed for implementing ICD-10.

A critical step to ICD-10 planning and preparation is to integrate any related existing initiatives (such as the ones listed above) into your ICD-10 implementation plan. Why create more work when you can consolidate and collaborate to support a positive outcome for all?

To get from here to there requires planning. However, this isn’t a new concept for you or your organization. You are already experts in these steps. Just apply the same methodical, comprehensive approach you’ve used in the past. Now, what needs to be done to get the desired result?

1. Ensure you are forming multi-disciplinary teams to work on specific tasks.

Include both leadership and staff perspectives as solutions and approaches are discussed and decisions are made. The old saying “variety is the spice of life” is especially true here as it relates to including team members who bring different skill sets, expertise and experience to the table.

2. Grab your comprehensive listing of the vendors and software applications your practice or organization is currently using.

This list will be crucial in determining the business partners you need to reach out to and engage in your organization’s ICD-10 implementation project.

3. Dust off your communication and education protocols and procedures.

Validate the current methods and timing of communicating information will be sufficient. This is big—lots of people need to be aware, engaged and prepared to get the job of implementing ICD-10 done.