American Association of Clinical Coders & Auditors
Now is the Time to Add ICD10 Coding, 
Documentation Review and
Revenue Integrity to your
Nursing Career!

Implementation of ICD10 has been delayed . . . again!

Those of you who have been a Certified RN-Coder and members of AACCA for any length of time, remember when I told you in class, "Don't hold your breath!"   In the original ICD9CM workbook for 
RN-Coder I placed a chapter on ICD10 (back of the book) since 2001!  And we haven't implemented yet.

We were in Las Vegas at the March-April 2014 RN-Coder ICD10 Academy when the word came down that one sentence in the physician's 121-page bill to stop Medicare from implementing a 24% pay cut had effectively shut down ICD10 implementation in the United States AGAIN -- until October 15, 2015.

Remember, this is after several hundred thousand physicians in the US have taken advantage of the 2009 financial incentives President Obama placed in effect to assist them in obtaining Electronic Health Care records -- which help them implement ICD10 in their own offices when the time comes.

The next RN-Coder ICD10 Academy is scheduled for December, 2014.  Maybe.

The United States has never been closer to ICD10 implementation!  Several years ago, when there was an RN-Coder class in Atlanta, several RNs from the CDC came to class.  I was curious as to what they were doing there, and learned there was over 200 RNs working for the CDC, performing ICD9 to ICD10 coding!  When the US Centers for Disease Control had to figure out how to report our ICD9 data to the world health community in ICD10 format -- they didn't call the "high school grad" coding agencies! The CDC recruited, trained and implemented ICD10 with Registered Nurses!  

This is an IMPORTANT PRECEDENT for RNs "doing coding," and you should never let anyone forget it.
Originally slated for October 1, 2013 -- the entire US healthcare industry has been gearing up and getting ready to go.  Hospitals and payers will benefit the most from ICD10 implementation.  Physician benefits are negligible.  However, having more specific diagnosis codes will assist in many areas.

Several years ago a group of CNMs in Pennsylvania sought to perform a study of death records to identify which obstetric interventions -- including C-section -- might correlate with a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality.  Guess what?!  They couldn't do it.  The diagnosis codes were not specific enough to indicate how a woman might die in pregnancy or childbirth or postpartum!

The rest of the planet implemented ICD10 years ago -- but not the US.  We have the largest, costliest healthcare system in the world.  And we cannot figure this out.  One thing is certain:  it cannot be done without RNs involved at every level.  The non-clinical personnel are simply not ready -- and won't be any time soon!

As you can see from the timeline -- we have been working on this since 2009 when the "original" Final Rule was published by CMS.  Three years of training, implementing new software. more training, figuring out who, when, where. how we are going to get this single most difficult coding system implemented.

Here are some links to articles about the deadline change:  (Please click each link)