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Move to new ICD-10 medical coding system progressing

Jul. 9, 2015, 9:32 AM

A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center project managers has been working in recent months to train staff and transition clinics to a new medical coding and reporting system set to go into effect later this year.

At least 6,000 clinicians, coders and staff across the medical enterprise will be impacted by the change to ICD-10.

The new system, which will go live no later than Oct. 1, provides for more than 68,000 unique medical diagnoses. That compares to the 14,000 codes available in ICD-9.

“Our team is really excited about the success of the ICD-10 Educational Fairs,” said Debora Bohlen, administrative director for the transition. “The training approach has been very well received by the providers and staff.”

So far, the ICD-10 team had remediated 42 clinical areas — or 28 percent — of a total of 106 areas. In addition, about 2,000 providers and staff have already been trained in how the ICD-10 coding system works and how it will impact their current workflows.

“As we have gone live with ICD-10 coding in the clinics we have seen that the training sessions have helped the providers and staff have a smoother transition,” Bohlen said.

The current ICD-9 code set — which stands for International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 9th Revision — has been in use in the United States since 1979. The transition has been in the works for years. The system was set to go into place in 2013, but has since been postponed twice.

Most health care billing and statistical analysis use ICD codes. Sometimes providers assign the diagnosis codes while other times specialists assign them based on information in medical record.

Part of the effort is also to put into place a computer-assisted physician documentation system, which will help surgeons in particular complete compliant ICD-10 operative notes. The application is designed to increase the efficiency and speed with which the notes can be completed.

Numerous informational events aimed at boosting awareness of the new coding system have taken place across the medical campus and more educational fairs are yet to come.
For more information visit VUMC’s ICD-10 transition website (Vanderbilt login required) or by calling the project transition office at 615-343-1657.

Upcoming fairs:

July 10 – Children’s Hospital Theater

July 16 – Langford Auditorium

July 24 – One Hundred Oaks – “Turkey Toss Area”

July 31 – Franklin Embassy Suites

Aug. 5 – Langford Auditorium

Aug. 14 – Children’s Hospital Theater

Aug. 19 – Children’s Hospital Theater

Aug. 25 – Langford Auditorium

Sept. 2 – Langford Auditorium

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