As I write this, the ICD-10 Countdown Clock on the CMS website reads 54 Days, 14 Hours, 22 Minutes, and 13 Seconds (no, 8 Seconds, 5…). The fact that this clock exists gives you some idea of the import of this transition and the anxiety it is provoking. ICD-10 refers to the International Classification of Disease, tenth edition, published by the World Health Organization (WHO). ICD-9 has been in use since January, 1979. WHO started work on ICD-10 in 1983, but did not finish until 1992. Other countries started implementing it in the late ‘90s. In fact, the United States is one of the few developed countries that has not yet made the transition. We made the change from ICD-9 for coding and classifying mortality data from death certificates in 1999. The Department of Health and Human Services proposed in 2008 that we begin using ICD-10-CM, the Clinical Modification and ICD-10-PCS, the Procedural Coding System, for reporting. The recommendation became rule with an implementation date of October 2013. That got pushed back twice, and now we are finally staring down the drop-dead date of October 1, 2015.
Hopefully, your preparations to manage the transition are well underway. If not, CMS suggests the following steps: talk with your practice management vendor; be sure systems have been upgraded to the 5010 standards; discuss implementation with billing services and payers, including discussing with payers if contracts are affected; identify necessary changes in workflow and address staff training needs; conduct test transactions in advance of the October 1 deadline to be sure they are successfully received. [CMS ICD-10 Basics]
ACP provides resources to address the ICD-10 transition: check them out here.