When the ICD-10-CM/PCS codes go into effect Oct. 1, 2014, the nation’s health care system will immediately benefit from a modern and more robust coding system.
In a keynote speech at the ICD-10-CM/PCS and CAC Summit sponsored by AHIMA, Dr. Sam Ho, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at United Healthcare, said that effective use of data analytics with the new codes will lead to better patient care and outcomes.
“ICD-10 is not just about the technological impact, but how it will improve the healthcare system for patients,” Ho said. “It allows for a type of precision that we’ve never had before, which enables more meaningful data and analytics. To ultimately benefit from this, it is important for an organization to develop a sound assessment strategy that includes the application of analytics that can help identify the most pressing areas of risk to ensure there is a plan for addressing the issues that matter most.”
By providing more granular detail, ICD-10 will bring a level of accuracy for providers, for payers and ultimately will lead to improved information at both the patient-doctor level and in assessing regional and global health trends. For example, there is greater specificity in documenting type I diabetes and type II diabetes, making it easier to track a patient’s care, benchmark important health changes and identify diagnostic trends by physician, by specialty, by provider organization, and by region.
“There is enormous value in the ICD-10 codes that will improve patient care,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “The leadership of HIM professionals will be critical to ensure this value is realized through high quality clinical documentation and smart data analytics.”
Ho said there will be a continual imperative to improve data analytics as the industry moves to a value-based system.