Below is a portion of Selena Chavis’ article on ICD-10 Testing Strategies, from the publication, For the Record.
As hospitals prepare for the new coding system’s arrival, sound testing strategies will be critical to success.
Unprecedented. That’s how some industry professionals describe the impending impact of ICD-10 on healthcare organizations’ systems and processes. Like the implementation of any new large-scale project, testing will play a critical role in ensuring that the go-live has a minimal effect on patient care and revenue cycles. And it’s hardly going to be as easy as an open-book test, experts say.
“Testing is going to be incredibly difficult,” says Stephen Stewart, MBA, FACHE, CPHIMS, CHCIO, SHIMSS, chief information officer for Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, adding that healthcare organizations should not expect that testing for ICD-10 will mirror that which would typically accompany other implementation initiatives. Industry professionals warn that the impact of the new coding system is expected to go much deeper than previous new-system deployment.
For some hospitals, the postponement of the ICD-10 go-live date to 2014 is a welcome relief to a full plate of other IT-oriented projects vying for financial and staff resources. Even against competing priorities, Stewart believes the decision to delay ICD-10 has done a disservice to much of the industry because there is a sense of diminished urgency. “I don’t feel the sense of urgency that should be out there,” he notes. “There are those who are still hoping it will go away.”
Vendor and payer readiness are key components for making the puzzle pieces fit together during the testing phase. A 74-bed community-based health center, Henry County’s current payer mix is made up of 50% Medicare, 14% Iowa Medicaid, and about 25% Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa. With only three primary payers to consider, Stewart says the facility may be in a much better situation than some hospitals due to the fact that this group of payers appears to be more prepared for the ICD-10 transition than most.
While most vendors initially made the commitment to be ready for testing by this October, Stewart points out that the deadline’s delay has changed the urgency. He believes this shift in attitude is a mistake. “It’s still coming, and it’s still going to happen,” he says. “I know some organizations that haven’t even done an analysis of where their problem areas are. How do they know if their vendors are ready?”
For the rest of Chavis’ article, visit fortherecordmag.com
Source: www.fortherecordmag.com; Selena Chavis; September 24, 2012.