Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report centered around the readiness of government medical institutions to accept ICD-10 as the deadline grows nearer. While there have been issues with the preparation criteria reported in the past, as far as the GAO is concerned, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have prepared for the transition to the new coding system this October in numerous ways.
These include addressing concerns from the 28 stakeholders the report contacted and taking action to educate covered entities by distributing informative materials. Because the amount of new codes available in ICD-10 vastly outnumbers those in ICD-9, CMS had to provide appropriate information for those expecting to make the transition by the correct date.
Some of these materials consisted of videos, links to important websites and documents explaining the difference between the old and new coding systems. The report also lists the way that CMS communicates announcements, which four stakeholders said could stand to be more "immediate."
"Officials noted that CMS has issued 'one year out' messages intended to help covered entities follow one-year plan to transition to ICD-10, as well as messages that direct covered entities to detailed ICD-10 transition guidance and resource materials," the authors of the report said.
This information could imply that the ICD-10 deadline will be more successful than previous ones. Health Data Management cited multiple sources, including Senator Orrin Hatch and the Coalition of ICD-10, as approving of these new measures to promote proper compliance and preparation.
Learning about the tools at facilities' disposal for achieving ICD-10 readiness is just the first part of the process: Implementation is also key, and healthcare coding and consulting services will work with the provided information to help providers adapt.