Using ICD-10 for immediate quality of care and coding improvement

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By Patricia A. Zenner | 26 January 2012

The immediate focus of most HIPAA organizations and their vendors is on the conversion and mitigation of potential risks related to ICD-10 implementation. Many of those risks relate to the data fog that will ensue for at least 18 months following the October 1, 2013, implementation.

Some organizations have thought about what will happen after the data fog clears—the long-term advantages that ICD-10 will likely offer include better identification of fraud or abusive practices, improved ability to manage care and disease processes, and tracking public health and risks.

However, few have thought about the immediate opportunities that ICD-10 offers starting on the first day of implementation. Organizations do not have to wait two or more years for historical ICD-10 data to improve condition management, enhance population management, or engage in outcomes analysis. With a little foresight, organizations may even be able to use ICD-10 to improve coding.