Press Release: Wolters Kluwer Health Urges Healthcare Organizations to Use ICD-10 Delay to Refine Transition Plans, Maximize Outcomes

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 16, 2014) — Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, called upon healthcare organizations to view deferment of the ICD-10 implementation as an opportunity to refine plans to further minimize post-transition impacts and maximize quality and financial outcomes. In particular, the delay provides more time for clients to expand current strategies and further leverage its Health Language® and ProVation® Medical solutions to build a solid foundation for long-term clinical, financial and operational success under the expansive new code set.

Authorized on April 1 as part of broader Sustainable Growth Rate legislation, the ICD-10 implementation deadline was pushed back to at least October 2015. While the delay was met with relief by organizations that were struggling to comply with multiple concurrent regulatory mandates, even those that were on track to meet the original ICD-10 deadline can leverage the additional time to refine plans to minimize anticipated impacts on productivity and reimbursements to more fully realize cost and quality improvements.

“Due to the time pressures of Meaningful Use attestation and the October 2014 ICD-10 transition date, many payers, providers and vendors were forced to limit their focus to a small number of remediation initiatives, leaving gaps in their efforts. Now, in light of the delay, our clients are asking us to help them rebuild their transition plans to ensure they are comprehensive and address all the issues necessary to deliver long-term success,” said Brian McDonald, Vice President, Health Language, Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “We urge all healthcare organizations to take advantage of this delay to reassess their preparedness and build an action plan to ensure they are not only prepared but also ready to operate in an ICD-10 world.”

To ensure ICD-10 readiness, healthcare organizations are encouraged to leverage Health Language solutions and expertise to support the following key aspects of transition planning:

  • Protecting the revenue cycle. Analyze DRG shifts and use that information to drive clinical documentation improvements and contract negotiations.

  • Ensuring a clinically complete translation. Review pick lists, quality measures, benefit policies, managed care contracts, cohort identification policies and reports and more. Take time to ensure remediation plans are complete and don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all generic crosswalk strategy.

  • Preparing for post-ICD-10 updates. Put in place an enterprise terminology management solution to address future updates to code sets and/or business rules, as well as to better manage maps, value sets, code groups and payment model shifts across services lines.

  • Optimizing clinical workflow. Seek solutions that make it easier for clinicians to record problems and diagnoses using provider-friendly terms with mappings to SNOMED CT® and ICD-10.

Finally, healthcare organizations are encouraged to automate documentation and coding by implementing a structured reporting solution such as ProVation® MD, which has been enabled for ICD-10 for more than a year. ProVation MD captures the granularity required under ICD-10 by guiding physicians to document at the appropriate level of specificity. The proper CPT® and ICD-10 diagnosis codes are then automatically applied, producing clinically-appropriate, coder-ready procedure notes at the point of care.

“ICD-10 is an important component of the system-wide strategy to improve the quality and cost of and patient satisfaction with care,” said Arvind Subramanian, President and CEO, Wolters Kluwer Health, Clinical Solutions. “For those reasons, we encourage healthcare organizations to embrace the transition and maintain momentum so that when the time comes, they will be prepared to fully realize the benefits of ICD-10.”

About Wolters Kluwer Health

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Serving more than 150 countries and territories worldwide, Wolters Kluwer Health's customers include professionals, institutions and students in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include Health Language®, Lexicomp®, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Medicom®, Medknow, Ovid®, Pharmacy OneSource®, ProVation® Medical and UpToDate®.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2013 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Follow our official Twitter handle: @WKHealth.