ICD-10: The New Y2K?

February 5, 2016 5:50 pm

ICD-9 switched over to ICD-10, a system used by physicians and other health care providers to classify and code all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures recorded in conjunction with health care in the United States. Hotly debated among politicians for years, delayed, and then delayed again until this past fall, ICD-10 finally went live on October 1, 2015. Thanks to 60-90 hours of training for coding staff at Mercy Health, this expert team was more than ready to not only meet expectations, but also to thrive during this transition.

“We have been waiting for the switch to ICD-10 for the past 15 years,” said Sarah Marentette, a 17-year veteran of Mercy Health’s coding team during an ICD-10 celebration on Friday, January 15, 2016. “Its implementation has been compared to Y2K: lots of planning, worrying about issues that could come up. But after it hit, we have had no real issues.”

Ruth Leenheer, 12-year colleague of Mercy Health’s coding team, finds using ICD-10 exciting. “I enjoy the opportunity for detail that we are now able to provide. During the transition, I kept expecting things to go down, and to have problems, but the transition went very smoothly from our end.”

Holding an open house gathering, with Sally Rynberg, Regional HIM Director hosting, on January 15, 2016, the ICD-10 team intentionally waited three months after ICD-10 go-live to celebrate, according to Riley Turchetti, who served as project manager for Mercy Health’s ICD-10 implementation. “After getting past our initial go-live phase with very few issues, our biggest worry was the payors, as that can sometimes have a three-month turnaround until we see payment, but that seems to be going very smoothly.”

Congratulations to our colleagues on a successful ICD-10 implementation.


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