Press Release

Leading Healthcare Associations Urge Congress to Update Health Coding System

A group of leading healthcare associations today issued a joint statement responding to calls for further delay in adopting ICD-10 and reinforcing the need to implement the new coding system-currently being considered by the House under HR 4157 (Health Information Technology Promotion Act of 2005)-in October 2009.

The statement-issued by AdvaMed, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH)-details the urgent need to replace the nation's medical coding system, outlines the benefits and readiness of ICD-10 and addresses several claims regarding perceived implementation obstacles and fraud implications.

The ICD-9 coding system was developed more than 30 years ago and no longer reflects current knowledge of disease processes, contemporary medical terminology, or the modern practice of medicine. While the transition to ICD-10 has been discussed for more than 10 years, Congress must act now.  ICD-9 is running out of appropriate codes to accurately track, identify, and analyze new medical services and technologies and emerging public health threats such as avian flu.

There is a strong body of evidence indicating that ICD-10 provides better information needed to meet the demands of an increasingly global and electronic healthcare environment. ICD-10 provides more accurate and detailed clinical information that can improve quality measurement and patient safety activities while allowing for more accurate reimbursement-helping to identify and reduce fraud.  ICD-10 will also help reap the full benefits of investment in electronic health records (EHRs) and interoperable information networks.

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) first recognized the need to replace ICD-9 in the early 1990's and made a formal recommendation to implement ICD-10 coding in November 2003.  The current proposed October 2009 implementation deadline is long overdue and reflects a realistic compromise between the demand for better data and the time needed to complete the transition.

Only with a declared ICD-10 implementation deadline can the field begin to dedicate resources required to complete the detailed planning and development process.  Continuing to delay the positive impact of improved data because of an unwillingness to tackle the required planning now is unacceptable.

For more information on ICD-10, go to www.ahima.org/icd10/.


About AdvaMed

AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments.  Our members produce nearly 90 percent of the health care technology purchased annually in the United States and more than 50 percent purchased annually around the world. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit www.advamed.org.

About AHIMA

AHIMA is the premier association of health information management (HIM) professionals whose more than 50,000 members are dedicated to the effective management of personal health information needed to deliver quality healthcare to the public.  Founded in 1928 to improve the quality of medical records, AHIMA is committed to advancing the HIM profession in an increasingly electronic and global environment through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning.  For information about AHIMA you can visit www.ahima.org.

About AMIA

AMIA is an organization of leaders shaping the future of health information technology in the United States and abroad. AMIA is dedicated to the development and application of medical informatics in support of patient care, teaching, research, and health care administration. Complete information about AMIA is available at: www.amia.org.

About FAH

FAH is the national representative of investor-owned or managed hospitals and health systems.  Our members include general community and teaching hospitals in urban and rural areas as well as rehabilitation, long-term acute care, cancer, and psychiatric hospitals. For more information, visit www.fah.org.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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