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Reiterating that ICD-10 is an essential component to tracking more detailed healthcare data and strengthening a national health information infrastructure, Denise Buenning, MsM, Deputy Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services, again stated Wednesday that the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 compliance date remains in place. “CMS is dedicated to the transition to ICD-10,” said Buenning at the ICD-10 CM/PCS and CAC Summit sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). “Given that ICD-10 is essential to greater interoperability, information sharing and ultimately providing better patient care and lowering healthcare costs, we are continuing to move forward with our ICD-10 implementation efforts in full anticipation of the October 1, 2014 compliance date.” ICD-10 is an integral part of CMS’ E-Health initiative, which includes meaningful use, electronic quality measures and payment reform. Buenning said that ICD-10 implementation will make clinical records come alive, adding that the increased detail from the ICD-10 codes will provide a more accurate assessment of population health. “As the ICD-10 compliance date moves closer, AHIMA will remain focused on helping organizations prepare for implementation,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “HIM professionals recognize the importance of ICD-10 in sharing accurate and robust information as well as managing that information to ensure it is used effectively.” Pointing to CMS’ comprehensive implementation plan, Buenning added that the Medicare implementation of ICD-10 is on track for the October 2014 compliance date, but will continue to work in partnership with industry to assist all health care segments, and especially small providers, with making a successful transition to ICD-10. Source:  AHIMA

During the recent Dell Healthcare Think Tank which I took part in, I had an idea that I think is incredibly powerful and not talked about nearly enough. In fact, I think its reasonable to say that if we want to get healthcare costs down, then we have to learn how to do this well. The idea revolves around how we talk about privacy of health information with patients. Far too often, patients just hear news reports that talk about all of the reasons they should fear their health information getting out in the open. Instead, they almost never hear stories about how having their health information shared with the right people will actually improve their health. The simple fact is that if you lead with all the bad things that could possibly happen with health information in the wrong hands, then of course no patient is going to want their patient information shared. However, if they know how sharing their health information with the right people will improve their care, then patients are more than willing to share away. Basically, what I’m saying is that sharing healthcare data has been marketed wrong. The privacy advocates are well organized and have many people fearful for what will happen with their health information. I don’t have any problem with privacy advocates, because they help us to pause to take a reasonable look at the importance of privacy. However, the need for proper privacy controls doesn’t mean that we don’t share healthcare information at all. The beauty of all of this is that the majority of people think this is how it happens in healthcare today. They don’t realize that quite often their healthcare information isn’t traveling with them to specialists and hospitals. In fact, when patients discover that it doesn’t they’re usually quite surprised and don’t understand why it doesn’t. I hope we can work on the data sharing message. We can share your data with the people who need it so we can improve your care. If patients hear this message, healthcare data sharing will not be feared but embraced. Related posts: Doctors Expected To Get “Meaningful Choices” From Patients On HIE Data Use Patients Medical Record Posted to Facebook – HIPAA Violation New Medical Transcription Service Consortium for Sharing Patient Data

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