Medicare and Medicaid announced recently that ICD-10 will go-live on October 1, 2015, which is the third time the change has been delayed since 2009. CMS states that several factors impact the delay of implementing the updated coding guidelines: software, staff training, updating policies and guidelines, as well as paperwork to reflect the changes.
Several of my former classmates were disappointed with news of this recent delay. Their employers provided ICD-10 training along with reference materials for guidance during the transition. Do these delays reward those who cannot meet deadlines? Do those who were prepared for the changes now have to repeat their training and undo their scheduled software updates?
This reminds me of a time when I worked with a patient who had a diagnosis I wasn't familiar with (I can't remember the diagnosis now for the life of me). I ended up doing a lot of reading and research on the topic to be prepared for the patient's next appointment, but was disappointed when the patient cancelled.
I felt like I wasted a lot of my time learning about the disease, and quickly realized that the time wasn't really wasted because I learned a lot that would easily carry over to other patients. Like many areas in my career, this was another example of how knowing more information related to my patients would empower me to be a more skilled and compassionate therapist.
I think the same way about the ICD-10 delays. Those who were prepared will have an advantage to know the changes better than others, and their prep work will only help them through the transition.
What do you think? Are you ready for the change to ICD-10? Have you been involved in training courses yet?