Stay Motivated During the ICD-10 Delay

Tune in to this monthly online coding column from Melanie Endicott to learn about challenging areas and documentation opportunities for ICD-10-CM/PCS.


Unfortunately it was not an April Fools’ Day joke… On April 1, 2014, H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, was signed into law. Section 212 of this bill included verbiage to delay ICD-10 until at least October 1, 2015. This delay came as a shock to everyone and the impact of this delay is far-reaching—and will potentially cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars.

With only six months to go until the anticipated implementation day of October 1, 2014, most healthcare organizations were gearing up for the change by implementing dual coding, ICD-10 documentation improvement initiatives, and ramping up coder education. The delay has forced organizations to take another look at their timeline (and budget) and reevaluate how to stay focused and motivated for an additional year.

Here are some ideas on how to stay on track during the delay:

  • Continue with plans to do dual coding. Additional practice with ICD-10-CM/PCS will only make the coders more efficient, productive, and confident.
  • Dual coding will identify any gaps in documentation that can be remedied prior to implementation.
  • Consider instituting a clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program in your organization to assist with and identify documentation gaps. If your facility already has a CDI program, make sure that the documentation analysis is focused on both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS to ensure a seamless transition.


While this delay was unexpected, unwanted (by many), and has sent a shockwave through the industry, it is very important to continue to anticipate the arrival of ICD-10 and be prepared with continued education.


Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, is senior director of HIM practice excellence, coding and CDI products development at AHIMA. She has over 15 years experience in HIM and coding, with her most recent focus being in ICD-10-CM/PCS, and has presented numerous times at the regional, state, and national levels on HIM and coding topics. She was previously a director of HIM practice excellence, focusing on coding products, resources, and education, at AHIMA. Melanie is an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer and an ICD-10 Ambassador.



  1. Melanie, what do you think about the talk of ICD-12?

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  2. My facility has been doing intensive I-10 training for coders and CDSs. The leadership team has announced, with no input from staff, that our training will continue now as before, even in the face of the delay. I wish I had words to illustrate the change in climate last week in our training room. In lieu of interested, applied., motivated learners, I now saw a staff going through the motions. I myself don’t feel the fire to learn the new system anymore, seeing that I’m in a late season in my career and I know I will forget 90-95% of what I’m learning now, long before October 2015.

    Those of you in leadership–please, please, if you choose to continue training, seek the thoughts of your staff. Tailor your efforts to what they may need and not what you feel you want to give.

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  3. Marie – I haven’t heard anything about ICD-12 yet, but the latest news is that ICD-11 is likely to be ready from the WHO in 2017, then the U.S. will need to modify this version for use in our country, which will take several more years. Also, since ICD-11 will build upon ICD-10, we must first transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 before making the leap to ICD-11.

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