Some providers may be wondering if it would be less time-consuming and more cost-efficient to jump from ICD-9 to ICD-11. The World Health Organization is supposed to present the ICD-11 code set in May 2017. That's only a year and half after the United States implements ICD-10. So why not wait?
At eMDs, we believe waiting is a flawed approach.
There are costs and consequences to continuing using the outdated ICD-9 coding system.
ICD-9 is obsolete and no longer reflects current clinical knowledge, medical terminology, or the modern practice of medicine.
Our healthcare data deteriorates the longer we stay on ICD-9. This at a time when we are putting more emphasis on high-quality data to support healthcare initiatives to improve care delivery and reform payment.
It also hinders our ability to gather clinically relevant and internationally comparable data.
More delays will only increase the costs of conversion.
It’s also important to note that ICD-11 will not be ready for use right out of the gate.
Think of all the adjustments the U.S. had to make to the ICD-10 code set to get it to work with our reimbursement and reporting needs. That's why there so many more ICD-10-CM codes than ICD-10 codes. The same will have to be done with ICD-11. It will take a number of years for the U.S. government to come up with ICD-11-CM/PCS - some estimating it will not be ready until 2020.
Skipping ICD-10 will also make ICD-11 implementation harder. ICD-10 should be viewed as the building blocks, or stepping stones, for ICD-11.
Sue Bowman, director of coding policy and compliance for the AHIMA, may have said it best, “ICD-10 is the pathway to ICD-11. You have to treat it like you’re building a structure starting with a first floor. You can’t build a fourth one without constructing a second and third.”
The development of ICD-11 will depend heavily on ICD-10 and implementing ICD-10 now will ensure a smooth transition to ICD-11 when that code set is ready.
eMDs believes strongly that there will be no further delays in ICD-10 implementation and we advise the provider community to embrace ICD-10 and push forward efforts for compliance.