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10/11/2011
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3M Gives Healthcare Coding System ICD-10 Facelift

Coding and Reimbursement System update helps providers comply with mandatory ICD-10 conversions.

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3M Health Information Systems has released a new version of its 3M Coding and Reimbursement System, which offers an ICD-10 Readiness Tool with complete coding content for ICD-10 Clinical Modification (CM) and ICD-10 Procedure Coding System.

According to 3M executives, the upgrades are designed to meet the needs of healthcare facilities regardless of where they are in their ICD-10 transition. For those in the initial stages of conversion work, the 3M software offers tools to help familiarize coding staff with ICD-10 and how to determine the most accurate, complete, and compliant ICD-10 codes. Coders with more extensive ICD-10 knowledge can use the 3M software to natively code in ICD-10, as well as translate and compare ICD-9 codes with possible ICD-10 equivalent codes.

"The new software release also makes it possible to identify gaps in the physician documentation that could impact coding accuracy under ICD-10," Andy Sager, product manager for the 3M Coding and Reimbursement System, told InformationWeek Healthcare. "Clients currently licensing the 3M Coding and Reimbursement System appreciate that the ICD-10 features and coding content are delivered at no cost as part of the normal quarterly update process."

3M said in its October 5 announcement that all standard coding features are available to healthcare providers when using the ICD-10 code sets, including direct entry and retrieval from 3M's comprehensive coding references. Additionally, anatomy images are fully integrated within the workflow.

[Which healthcare organizations came out ahead in the InformationWeek 500 competition? See 10 Healthcare IT Innovators: InformationWeek 500.]

The 3M Coding and Reimbursement System is used in more than 5,000 healthcare settings worldwide by health information management departments to code and group patient data for decision support, quality measurement, and reimbursement.

ICD-10 code sets will be used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures by everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that transmits electronic claims. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, all HIPAA-covered healthcare providers, health insurance companies, clearinghouses, and billing services that transmit electronic claims must also switch to HIPAA 5010 transaction standards, which is a prerequisite to ICD-10 implementation.

As 3M continues to help its clients prepare for the ICD-10 code conversion deadline of October 1, 2013, the company also revealed that it has signed an agreement with SourceHOV to provide outsourced coding resources through SourceHOV's subsidiary LexiCode Corporation.

Sager noted that access to qualified, credentialed coding professionals is one of the most critical concerns facing 3M's clients as they transition to ICD-10. Healthcare facilities, he said, have been dealing with a severe shortage of qualified professionals for several years.

"With ICD-10 implementation only two years away, additional coders are needed to support ICD-10 training, potential coder retirement, and time needed for current staff to gain competency in ICD-10. We're working with SourceHOV to provide our clients with credentialed coders on an outsourced basis to help fill the gap," Sager observed.

Sager also said many healthcare facilities have spent the past year developing their ICD-10 transition roadmap.

"In 2012, we'll see implementation efforts focus on system conversion and translation of ICD-9-based information to ICD-10. Our hospital clients are also beginning the staff education process using 3M's automated Web-based ICD-10 curriculum," Sager said.

In September, 3M announced it will help the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prepare its computer systems to transition to ICD-10.

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