Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Coding: Preparing for Change…or Delay

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 08:11 PM

Medical CodingHealthcare documentation professionals received a serious wakeup call when the implementation of ICD-10 was delayed by another year. The once touted impossibility became a quick reality with very little obvious pushback in congress. And after that chaos ensued. 

Testing bodies had already begun to move away from ICD-9 testing in favor of the ICD-10. Most schools had dropped ICD-9 education even though students might graduate before the implementation date. Even vendors went all out for the change. What was most interesting is that few actually seemed to be prepared for the inevitable delay. When word of the congressional vote came up, there was a panicked effort to change the unavoidable outcome. 

It almost seemed as if many moved burned the bridge for ICD-9. I heard a few mention that if they make it so that they cannot easily go back or they are totally committed to ICD-10, there would be no way anyone would dare to change the implementation date. This line of thinking and planning should have been a major red flag. 

There are very legitimate reasons on both sides of the delay argument. There are even some wanting to wait and move to ICD-11. Physicians, vendors, and healthcare documentation specialists all sit on different sides for various reasons. We could endlessly write on either side of the argument. The intent here is not to take a side, but to be prepared regardless of the outcome. 

The biggest take away from this experience is simple….. Make plans both for a change and also make plans should that change not happen. The stakes are too high for businesses, schools, and professionals to not prepare for multiple outcomes. Hopefully other schools will take note of Med-Line’s strategic planning. Giving students a strong education that focuses on now and the future is the key to success. 

Med-Line's Medical Coding Bridge Course was one of the few courses that continued teaching ICD-9 alongside ICD-10 so graduates would be ready if the ICD-10 implementation was delayed. As expected, ICD-10 was delayed leaving graduates of many programs unprepared to work since their education did not include ICD-9. Our students were ready for this delay. When we let them know about the delay, their response from one was telling “Well, everyone knew that was coming. Good thing we know both.”

Would you like to be ready for whatever changes come in the future? If so, choose Med-Line.

Prepare for Your Future