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The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC)

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) is a coalition of chief executives of leading companies and organizations representing the various sectors within healthcare. Among the objectives that unite these diverse perspectives is the conviction that improved use of data is critical to quality improvement in patient care. Thus, HLC members believe strongly in implementation of ICD-10, without further delay.

ICD-10 allows for better quality data, which in turn will lead to improved management of care. Detailed data is essential for measuring quality of care and outcomes. Thorough evaluation and documentation ensures that maximum value is received by the patient. It provides the ability to tailor care to the individual and enhance the patients overall experience.

Precision in data is vital as healthcare begins to increasingly utilize big data and data analytics. Obtaining a realistic overview of population health rests on how exact the data is. Data that is not comprehensive provides insufficient information, which negatively impacts attempts to make meaningful changes to the delivery of care. In the wake of the progress made in health IT, the use of codes with greater specificity is more important than ever.

The cost of postponing continues to grow. Organizations have poured significant resources into preparing for the transition to ICD-10 only to witness unnecessary delays. Additionally, these same organizations are forced to deal with the inefficiencies tied to the use of ICD-9. Documentation that is lacking in accuracy and difficult to interpret, as well as persistent billing errors lead to more time and money, that could be better utilized on patient care, spent on correcting mistakes.

The good news is that CMS is conducting end-to-end testing this year. As the current compliance date is October 1, 2015 it is essential to test transactions on internal systems and the external partner systems. The testing is expected to highlight any pricing or process changes, and ensure that the appropriate outcome is achieved. Through the practice runs CMS can begin to determine best practices that will assist in a successful transition.

The debate over implementing ICD-10 illustrates the consequences that occur when there is paralysis in one portion of a complex healthcare system made up of many components. There is much work to be done to improve healthcare quality, safety and cost-efficiency, but when one piece of the system is suspended; many of the essential correlating pieces are also held back in the process.

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