Monday, August 2, 2010

Family physicians seek ICD-10-CM delay in testimony to Congress

On July 27, in testimony (warning: PDF) to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health titled "Regarding Implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act", Dr. Roland A. Goertz said that implementation of electronic medical records ought to take precedence over the switch to ICD-10-CM.

Dr. Goertz said "...practices are at their maximum capacities for change, and we ask that your committee not make additional requests of these physicians during this transition and even look at the required adoption of ICD-10 as something to delay."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Story on ICD-10 contains inaccuracies

A story about 3M consulting services to assist hospitals with the transition to ICD-10 contains several gross inaccuracies.

First, it mentions "ICD-10 concepts and terms". ICD-10 does not have concepts and terms, nor does its predecessor ICD-9-CM. It has codes, categories, and titles. The use of the phrase "concepts and terms" is highly misleading as it suggests that ICD-10 is a concept-based terminology. Although I have issues with those as well, they are lightyears of ahead of ICD-10's archaic structure. So the implication is that ICD-10 is something much better than it really is.

Second, the story lists 4 purposes for ICD-coding of diagnosis, and lists the single most important one, reimbursement, last. Were it not for reimbursement and bureaucratic requirements, no one would assign ICD codes for clinical care, quality, or epidemiological purposes.

In summary, this article misleadingly paints a much more favorable picture of ICD-10 than is warranted by the facts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ICD-10-CM is NOT a nomenclature

In this article about the lengths to which organizations must go to 'upgrade' to ICD-10-CM, the author refers to ICD-10-CM as a 'nomenclature'.

ICD-10-CM, as its formal name indicates, is a classification, not a nomenclature. Its formal name is the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), as listed on the web site of the government agency that created it from ICD-10.

For example, ICD-10-CM code K83.8 refers to Other specified diseases of the biliary tract. This class of diseases includes multiple individual diseases such as: adhesions of biliary tract, atrophy of biliary tract, hypertrophy of biliary tract, and ulcer of biliary tract.

A nomenclature, by contrast, would have codes for each of these diseases that ICD-10-CM lumps together under the single code K83.8.

So, unfortunately, misinformation about ICD-10-CM continues. Were it truly a nomenclature, and a good one, then it would truly be a worthwhile upgrade.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ICD-10-CM Winners

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange or WEDI announced the release of its ICD-10 Vendor Resource Directory on Feb 11, 2010.

The companies all listed here stand to benefit financially from the switch to ICD-10-CM, and thus we dub them the "ICD-10-CM winners".

The losers, of course, are your doctor, your hospital, and your health insurance company (if you have one), just for a start. The switch will cost them money.