ICD-10 Codes That Matter

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At the Becker's Hospital Review Annual Meeting in Chicago on May 11, Fletcher Lance, vice president and national healthcare lead at North Highland, and Cody Schmits, manager at North Highland, presented North Highland's proprietary method and toolkit approach to ICD-10: Codes that Matter.

ICD-10 involves roughly 155,000 codes, which is fairly daunting for hospital coders, and "odds are low" that implementation date will be moved back again from its current go-live date of Oct. 1, 2014, according to Mr. Lance. "It froze a lot of the market," he said.

North Highland has set out to make the process a little simpler. They developed an algorithm to determine which ICD codes matter — those that have the highest impact for organizations. It turns out, 80 percent of patient charges are tied to 5 to 15 percent of the total number of codes. "That's a pretty powerful number," he said.

North Highland's algorithm focused on 3,000 to 5,000 high-impact codes, which gives hospitals a manageable place to start down the road of ICD-10 implementation.

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