eHealth Summit to be Held in February for Healthcare Providers

eHealth Summit to be Held in February for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare facilities all over the country should be preparing vigorously for the looming ICD-10 deadline. CMS is lending healthcare facilities a hand by hosting a summit to discuss the challenges of implementing ICD-10.

Despite the fact that the deadline for implementing ICD-10 is slowly approaching, surveys polling the readiness of the industry to undergo the big transition report unsettling results. Apparently, 10-percent of providers still have not started an ICD-10 impact assessment, and nearly two thirds haven’t begun the testing process. The complex transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will impact everyone working in the healthcare industry, from providers to customers and vendors. In order to ease this transition and provide healthcare facilities with useful information about ICD-10, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting the CMS eHealth Summit in February.

According to the CMS, discussions during the summit will focus on best practices during the transition, as well as the possible challenges with which healthcare providers might be faced. Panels will include health care providers, payers, vendors and representatives from their respective trade associations. The summit will be held at CMS Headquarter in Baltimore, on February 14.

Healthcare providers will face numerous changes to multiple systems and processes in order to achieve compliance by the ICD-10 deadline: October 1, 2014. ICD-10 increases the specificity with which diagnoses are reported. The number of outpatient diagnostic codes will increase from around 13,000 to more than 68,000, and practices that haven’t begun preparations for the big transition are already lagging behind.

Providers will have to plan preparation activities to make sure they’ll be ready for the transition: the staff will need training; technical testing will be required; clinical documentation must be improved; software will have to be upgrade, and so on. A 2008 study by the consulting firm Nachimson Advisors LLC estimates the conversion costs will range from $83,000 to as high as $2.7 million, depending on the size of the practice.

Technology can ease your facility’s transition to ICD-10. For example, computer assisted coding can reduce the amount of time a medical coder needs to identify the proper code by guiding the coder to the right area automatically. However, you will still need to devote a budget and some staff time to ensure that your practice is ready to handle the changes coming on October 1. Attending the eHealth Summit may help you come up with a viable transition plan.

Registration for the summit is free, but you must be registered to attend. The auditorium at the summit will have limited seating. Consequently, CMS is asking healthcare providers to restrict in-person registration to two representatives per organization. Those who are unable to attend in-person have the option of watching a webcast of the entire event. All sessions will be webcast live, and will be available for viewing approximately ten minutes prior to their start times. The conference schedule will soon be published on the CMS website.

 
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