Swift decision on ICD-10 urged by CHIME

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Officials from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) have recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) act swiftly with regards to possible plans to extend the deadline for transition to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codebase, reports Healthcare IT News.

Unlike some other healthcare IT organizations, such as the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), which urged the HHS to reconsider its plans for an extension to the deadline, CHIME officials merely emphasized the need for clarity regarding the timeline for migration to the new codes.

“Everyone in the healthcare IT world is working against numerous deadlines,” George Hickman, executive vice president and chief information officer at Albany Medical Center in New York, told the news source. “But it’s vitally important for those of us planning, budgeting and implementing these projects to know when that deadline is coming. This announcement has introduced an unnecessary level of uncertainty into our lives.”

Despite the pressure that the original October 2013 deadline has placed on some healthcare IT departments and personnel, officials at CHIME reiterated the need to remain committed to the initial deadline. Many healthcare providers have made significant financial investments toward meeting the transition timeline, and extension of the deadline could jeopardize work undertaken by some facilities.

Susan Heichert, chief information officer of Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota, told Information Week that the HHS’ announcement had been met with disappointment across the healthcare IT industry, and that many providers remained committed to the original October 2013 deadline.

The news source reports that according to the HIMSS 2012 Leadership Survey, 90 percent of the 302 healthcare IT managers polled indicated they remained confident they would meet the 2013 migration deadline.