ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition top of mind in health IT

SearchHealthIT's HIT Squad touched on the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition, AHIMA conference, Salesforce Health Cloud and medical device integration.

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The looming transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 has a lot of smaller healthcare providers worried.

In this SearchHealthIT HIT Squad podcast, news writer Kristen Lee reported from the ICD-10 front that the mood at many of these practices is grim ahead of the Oct. 1 ICD-10 implementation date.

Lee also notes that CMS recently announced state Medicaid programs in California, Maryland, Montana and Louisiana will be given waivers from the deadline. One consultant told Lee that this may mean CMS is not entirely prepared for the transition.

Read CMS's ICD-10 FAQ here.

Some small providers say it's not that they haven't prepared, rather they are worried that some of their vendors, such as billing companies, aren't ready for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition.

Meanwhile, news and features writer Shaun Sutner said most hospitals and healthcare systems are, indeed, ready for the changeover, and have completed training and testing with their vendors.

Also in the podcast, Sutner talked about his reporting on the recent Salesforce announcement that it plans to join the health IT world, with a cloud-based data aggregation system that will link patient data and present it in a single view. Some health IT insiders are skeptical.

ICD-10 made a reappearance in the podcast when Sutner said the American Health Information Management Association's 2015 AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in New Orleans at the end of September could be calm, with the real action set to happen the day after the conference ends, on Oct. 1.

That is, if the health information management and coding experts who populate the conference aren't ready for the transition, then they might be in trouble.

Sutner also talks about medical device integration and how it is part of the future of the Internet of Things in health IT.

Let us know what you think about the story or how you handled the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writer or contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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