AHIMA Pushes for ICD-10 Adoption in Capitol Hill Briefing
In a Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, September 23, AHIMA staff members and other stakeholders stressed the need to continue with ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation on October 1, 2015 without delay.
Members of the US House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the general public, attended the briefing, which addressed the need for the new code set and the consequences of additional implementation delays.
Sue Bowman, MJ, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, AHIMA’s senior director, coding policy and compliance, represented AHIMA on a panel, alongside fellow members of the Coalition for ICD-10. Margarita Valdez, AHIMA’s director of congressional relations, said the session went exceptionally well, noting it “was one of the best briefings that we’ve ever had. Attendees stayed for the entire two hours and asked questions of every panelist,” Valdez said.
She added that legislators asked for clarifications about costs to small physician offices, the number of new codes, and competing health initiatives.
During the briefing, Bowman reiterated AHIMA’s position on ICD-10 implementation and outlined the negative implications of not adopting the code set or further extending the implementation date. She cited data from the US Department of Health and Human Services estimating that the cost to the healthcare industry of a single one-year delay could be $6.8 billion.
Additionally, Bowman noted that failure to replace ICD-9-CM could result in erroneous decisions based on faulty or imprecise data; coding errors due to code ambiguity and outdated terminology; and lost opportunity costs.
Bowman agreed that the briefing went well and featured a lineup of panelists that competently responded to every question asked of them. Joining Bowman were Coalition members:
- Jeffrey F. Linzer, Sr., MD, professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine
- Gail Eminhizer, CMM, CGCS, HITCM-PP, practice administrator at Digestive Health Associates of Northern Michigan
- Sandra J. Wolfskill, FHFMA, director of healthcare finance policy, Revenue Cycle MAP, at HFMA
- Thomas Pacek, vice president of information systems and CIO at Inspira Health Network
- John S. Hughes, MD, professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine
- Dennis Winker, director of technical program management and ICD-10 at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
The Coalition for ICD-10 is an advocacy group supporting the adoption of ICD-10-CM/PCS in the US. Click here to read more about the Coalition. Click here to read the slides from Bowman’s presentation, and here to review the slides of Bowman’s co-presenters.