|Picture courtesy of http://icanhascheezburger.com|
Ok, let’s take a step back…. ICD [International Classification for Disease(s)] was not supposed to be for billing coding, it was designed to keep and maintain a world wide database of diseases and such for mortality (death) documentation. Here in the states, we decided wow, maybe we can use it for double duty, maybe we can collect their silly death data and raise them complete billing records. Ha! Yep, there is good ‘ol American ingenuity for you. And by golly we did it. Did it work out perfectly? No, but it has worked mostly admirably for over a decade now (below ICD-10 of course).
We are one of the last holdouts in the world to being seriously using the ICD-10 coding scheme and we are probably only going there because we finally admitted that with full-scale coding and billing and the meaningful usefulness of EHRs that it was necessary. The old coding scheme (ICD-9) had exhausted its ability to keep up with the new technologies and treatments. Trying to down code everything into crayon just wasn’t working anymore when their glaring lack was being brought to the forefront with electronic billing and record-keeping. So, here we are, knocking at the door of a brave new data coding day, in less than two years we will have joined the ICD-10 world and still found a way to double-duty it. Yeah us!
Wow, just as we are finally willing to put our big toes in the water, someone has decided to throw a bucket of cold water right back in our faces. Hope you didn’t inhale.
In Salt Lake City, on the first Tuesday of this month, HI (health information) managers at the annual AHIMA Convention that were not already sweating ICD-10 implementation decided that a full panic was in the wings, once T.B Ustun, MD, who works for the World Health Organization (WHO) hit the stage. Minutes into his speech he raised the prospect of ICD-11. Ustun is the team coordinator of classifications, terminologies and standards and his team is responsible for developing ICD-11, which he prefers to call “ICD-2015”. If Dr. Ustun thinks that renaming it from ICD-11 to ICD-2015 will actually resolve any panic, procrastination, or concern. He is probably a user (of ICD-11 codes that is).
I think the use of the date 2015 gives a clue as to when they will have things approved for use. Interesting that 2015 also coordinates with the year Medicare is planning to begin penalizing those who are not meaningful EHR users. Hummmmmnnnn.
Of course like you, many were wondering – “Well, why don’t we just wait a couple of years and bump straight into ICD-11 coding? We wouldn’t have to waste all of this sweat and time with ICD-10 coding and cramming it in over the next year plus.” Of course the general answer seems to be, on one hand, “You just can’t handle ICD-11 coding yet” and on the other hand, they are claiming that ICD-11 is more streamlined and elegant, with the double huge bonus of being more uniform worldwide, being available on the web, and having updates and downloads of new codes be like magic for updates, collaboration, and growth.
Now, doesn’t that make you feel better? Aren’t you relaxed and feeling warm and cozy inside and way less panicky? Yeah, me too.
So, how do you really feel (about ICD-10 or ICD-11)? Please post a comment.
The HealthcareITNews article that got me started in the first place: “Scared of ICD-10? ICD-11 is in the wings”, October 05, 2011 by Bernie Monegain, Editor
The WHO’s ICD-11 website