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How a system plans to deal with ICD-10 confusion


The Lorenz attractor displays chaotic behavior.

CMS’s recent granting of flexibility to physicians in meeting the Oct. 1 deadline for ICD-10 has caused some confusion for hospitals. Linda Reed, R.N., is vice president, behavioral and integrative medicine, and chief information officer at Atlantic Health, ¬†explains how her system ¬†plans to cut through the confusion,

She notes:

“While it appears there is flexibility on the part of the physicians, there does not appear to be any such flexibility for hospitals and other health care organizations. As hospital providers, we are at the mercy of what our physicians order and the codes that are part of those orders. A nonspecific code may be acceptable for physician billing, but it is still not acceptable for hospital billing. ”

“At this time, we are planning for the worst and putting in place processes for dealing with prescriptions that have incorrect or incomplete codes. The plans include: How do we ensure that there are no long lines and wait times? Who will work with the patient? Who will help them call their physicians to get the right codes? How do we ensure customer satisfaction and service recovery? How do we make sure patients get the services they need in a timely fashion?”


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