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How Myths Surrounding ICD-10 Are Preventing Eligible Practitioners from Transitioning Effectively

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere and then halfway through your journey you found out you had the wrong directions? You tend to feel like all the effort put into preparing and getting to that point in the journey was wasted. That’s the kind of situation many EPs (eligible professionals) find themselves in when trying to prepare for the ICD-10 transition only to find some of the information they’ve been working with wasn’t accurate. In fact, the challenge is so real that the CMS has released a document debunking the myths or untruths preventing many medical practitioners from preparing properly for the switch-over.

This switch-over is slated for the 1st of October 2015 and the CMS is adamant that there will be no extension, a matter that is perhaps the leading aspect in the swarm of myths buzzing around. In the past, the CMS has had to postpone the implementation of ICD-10 due to various issues and this has amounted to what can only be described as crying wolf. This has put many in the medical industry in a position of skepticism especially because the CMS was equally tough talking in the past when it still went ahead and issued an extension to the deadline. However, hindsight is 20/20 so it’s always easy to see how it was inevitable that the CMS would postpone the deadline but in reality at that time, it was a Schrödinger’s cat scenario with either outcome being entirely plausible. So, to put aside any confirmation bias, we have to assume that if the CMS has said it will issue no further extensions then it is to be assumed as such until and unless proven otherwise.

On another front, there’s the issue of the complexity of the new codes plus the existence of ICD-11, the famous successor to ICD-11 only now pretending to the throne. For many commentators, the complexity of ICD-10, which has seen the number of codes balloon from 14,000 to 68,000 is an indication that doctors and other health practitioners will simply be unable to acclimatize to the new complex codes, leave alone by a specific date. To add to this, there are those who feel that the shortcomings of ICD-10 can and will be addressed in ICD-11, even though it’s currently unclear if this will indeed be the case as ICD-11 is but a draft at the moment. This has created a spin-doctor scenario with many conveying truths and half-truths to convince the body of health practitioners that ICD-10 can and should be shelved in favor of sticking with ICD-9 until ICD-11 has come of age. This is indeed a sticking point that has many practitioners stuck in the mud, as it were, unable to move forward to ICD-10 with full sails and gusto or fall back to the familiar waters of ICD-9.

It’s apparent that these myths and half-truths do play a dastardly role in the preparations medical professionals are making to beat the deadline. The CMS has done its part to dispel these specters but it still remains within the precinct of the medical professionals themselves to fully commit to the transition and play their part in advancing the science of medicine and healthcare as a whole.

Download our Free ICD-10 Myths and Facts Guide