City of Hope will begin using a new diagnostic coding system called ICD-10 this year. The system will help medical center faculty and staff members more precisely document patient-care information.
The ICD-10 System will improve patient care. (Photo by Thomas Brown)
“ICD-10 will enable City of Hope to enhance the quality of our patient care and clinical research,” said Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer for City of Hope. “All medical centers and physicians will be required to use this new system, which will allow us to more accurately describe the full condition of our patients. The outcomes of these patients will be publically recorded, and it behooves us to accurately describe exactly how complex our patients tend to be.”
Begun by the World Health Organization, ICD-10 is used in almost every developed country in the world, except the U.S. Once the U.S. implements the system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, will mandate the use of ICD-10 for all transactions, including payment of claims.
CMS is the U.S. federal agency that administers Medicare, the country’s national healthcare insurance program for Americans ages 65 and older and the disabled. Because many private health-care insurance companies align their reimbursement plans with Medicare, the mandated change to ICD-10 likely will affect private insurance reimbursements, as well.
According to Laura Crocitto, M.D., City of Hope physician advisor for ICD-10 and clinical associate professor in the Department of Surgery, ICD-10 offers several advantages over the current ICD-9 system.
“ICD-10 better reflects current medical practice, accommodates the addition of new disease codes, so documentation will be more precise, and allows physicians to document the true complexity of patients, permitting accurate reporting of patient outcomes and receipt of appropriate payment for the complexity of care provided,” Crocitto said. “It also more precisely reflects quality of care and permits better analysis of disease patterns.”
Dale Adams, Pharm.D., executive officer of the medical center, noted that faculty and staff members will receive many opportunities to learn the new system.
“The ICD-10 transition is an important part of improving our information systems and technology,” he said. “The implementation team will be providing ongoing training to users throughout the process.”
Questions or comments should be directed to Anthony Kellogg, senior project manager in information technology, at email@example.com or Laura Crocitto, M.D., Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology, at firstname.lastname@example.org.