Implementation, Where Do You Begin?

ICD-10 Implementation seems somewhat mind boggling, but if your organization takes a systematic approach the transition can be manageable. The impact from a 3-5-digit level of specificity up to a seven-digit level of specificity is enormous.  In addition before we can convert to ICD-10, we must convert from the 4010 electronic transaction standard to 5010 by January 1, 2012.  Version 5010 addresses currently unmet business needs, including, for example, providing on institutional claims an indicator for conditions that were “present on admission.”  Version 5010 also accommodates the use of the ICD-10 code sets, which are not supported by Version 4010/4010A1.

There are three key steps that should be accomplished in the next three to six months. These steps include:

  1. Assembling the steering committee or team, selecting a project manager and reviewing the ICD-10 final rule
  2. Organizing the implementation effort and development of the communication plan
  3. Performing a preliminary impact analysis to present to senior management

For many large implementation projects, a cross-functional team representing various departments should oversee the implementation effort. A point person or project manager should be assigned to oversee the team.  It is helpful in medium to large organizations to create an ICD-10 project team, task force or steering committee to spearhead the effort, address key issues and formulate a plan for implementation.  The committee should be comprised of high level stakeholders or reputed experts who will be able to provide guidance to the overall strategic direction of ICD-10 implementation.  These members should be managers or directors who are involved in overseeing the business objectives.  This leadership group should work independently with help from upper level management when necessary and report periodically to the decision makers. The project team will be an integral part of a successful implementation.

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