There's no doubt that, when all is said and done, 2013 will be looked back on as a transformative year for health care in the United States. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act's health exchanges may be gaining the most media coverage, but the oncoming arrival of ICD-10 looks to leave an equally large impact on health care providers throughout the country. With ICD-9 running well over 30-years-old now, its replacement will no doubt have an enormous effect on chiropractic EHR and other online health records used by medical practitioners.
But as we saw with the launch of the health exchanges this past October, untested and glitch-prone programs can lead to a disastrous rollout. To avoid these same headaches for ICD-10, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to perform end-to-end testing of the new coding language.
In a letter penned to Sebelius, MGMA President Susan Turney advocates the necessity of end-to-end testing prior to ICD-10's October 2014 launch, saying that the evaluations currently being performed are "simply insufficient." As Turney writes, improved tests can help:
- Address and resolve any potential technical problems
- Ensure that chiropractic management software and EHR programs for other practices have been configured appropriately
- Offer practitioners a practical method of accurately predicting Medicare coding edits.
"Failure to appropriately test ICD-10 could result in operational problems similar to what [HHS] experienced with the rollout of HealthCare.gov and will dramatically increase the potential of catastrophic cash flow disruption for practices following the Oct. 1, 2014 transition date," writes Turney.
But with almost a year to go, there's still plenty of time for HHS to iron out any bugs in ICD-10, giving practices around the country time to acquire the best chiropractic EHR software suited for ICD-10 compatibility.