Why ICD-10 Will Not be the Next Y2K

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Why ICD-10 Will Not be the Next Y2K

The healthcare industry is nervous about the transition to ICD-10. Many industry experts are using their influence to calm the industry as a whole, and help facilitate a gradual and successful shift to ICD-10.

Nervous about ICD-10?

Massive system failures leading to the often promised zombie apocalypse will take place on Thursday, October 1st, 2015…or so it would seem from all the concerned articles regarding the HIPAA-covered entities that have been federally mandated to transition to the ICD-10 coding system. The healthcare industry is concerned that ICD-10 might turn out to be their equivalent of Y2K, and a recent article on CIO.com considered this comparison.

Proponents of ICD-10 believe the transition will enable better communication with other countries using ICD-10, expand research capabilities, and improve overall quality of care. Of course, there is plenty of opposition from providers and healthcare organizations who have succeeded in delaying the new system for the past two years.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has offered a one-year grace period for providers, during which Medicare claims will not be denied based on the specificity of ICD-10 codes. However, this only applies to Medicare, and other insurers may choose to require specific codes.

The CIO article explains that many providers didn’t realize “how much training and testing would be required to comply with the government mandate.” For example, PrognoCIS EHR has undergone thorough testing, beginning with the patient encounter, which includes ICD-10 coding, and ending with a submission of the claim.

A June survey referenced in the article shows that only 17% of practices had tested their claims with payers and clearinghouses. 41% of physicians reported their staff was trained, and 36% of physicians had upgraded their systems for ICD-10 support. Hospitals seemed to be a little more prepared, as 65% reported trained staff.

Edward Hock, a director at the consulting firm Advisory Board Co., says, “Overall, we see that the vast majority of hospitals are taking this seriously and have spent a significant amount of time and resources in preparation.” Despite predictions that ICD-10 will lower productivity, according to Hock, trained physicians shouldn’t have too much difficulty adjusting.

CMS recently appointed Dr. William Rogers, M.D. as the official ICD-10 ombudsman. Beginning October 1st, he will be the go-to person for any ICD-10 related queries providers may have. According to HealthDataManagement, “Rogers’ email will no doubt become the ICD-10 equivalent of dialing the 911 emergency number for providers in trouble.”

In reference to the Y2K comparison, Rogers reasons “ICD-10 scares me a lot less than Y2K when we were talking about nuclear reactors and power grids potentially going down. This is a very different animal.”

Experts are convinced that, with the proper training, providers will have no problem with the new coding system. With luck, this transition will be just as anticlimactic as January 1st, 2000 was. Perhaps, in a few months, we will look back on ICD-10 as we do now on Y2K: with a few laughs and a touch of embarrassment.


PrognoCIS EHR is ICD-10 compliant and prepared for users. Although their are four states whose CMS agencies are temporarily using ICD-9 codes for their internal processes, on Oct 1, 2015, PrognoCIS EHR will codify as ICD-10 in every state in accordance with current clearing house guidelines. The “crosswalk” retro-coding is handled entirely at the state CMS level and does not call for claim submissions in ICD-9. PrognoCIS EHR is prepared for the Oct 1, 2015 change in all states.

PrognoCIS members also get regular updates about the latest industry news from Bizmatics, Inc., developers of this leading cloud-based application. The easy to use interface enables users to quickly find the code they need and populate it into the patient chart. If an ICD-10 code is not filled in, the software will prompt users to add them in with an alert. All lab & radiology tests, as well as e-prescriptions, will include ICD-10 codes. To learn more about the PrognoCIS ICD-10 solution, visit our ICD-10 Hub or click here to schedule a live demonstration with one of our experts: PrognoCIS Demo.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi