ICD-10 Memorialized over 600 Broadcasts

ICD-10 Memorialized over 600 Broadcasts

Tuesday, June 4 might be just another day, but to the producers of one long-running Internet broadcast, it’ll mark quite a milestone: the 600th live broadcast.

The first Talk Ten Tuesdays broadcast aired in May 2011.

“I remember that early-morning broadcast vividly,” recalled Chuck Buck, senior vice president of new media for MedLearn Media Publishing and the publisher of ICD10monitor and program host. “From a pure broadcasting perspective, it wasn’t the best broadcast, but it was live, and we produced a great deal of news in the 30 minutes. I told everyone associated with the first broadcast that it was a ‘good dress rehearsal.’”

Later, as the United States began the slow implementation of the new (at the time) coding methodology, the broadcast became a weekly monitor of the nation’s healthcare system as it migrated from ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, Version 9) to ICD-10.

Implementation was fitful, and controversial. Not everyone was in favor of the new code set. Even the American Medical Association (AMA) was not in favor, and later, Congress became involved in the decision to postpone or delay the implementation. Federal legislation was introduced to halt it.

“The Federal Government is forcing 140,000 complicated, unreasonable codes on all of us that are hard to decipher,” Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, reportedly said at the time. “Maybe we should sequester these new codes. Where are those World War II code breakers when we need them most? And that’s just the way it is.”

“In fact, the implementation was delayed several times,” Buck said. “I recall watching a TV network news commentator report on the volume of codes that doctors said they needed to know in order to code their work.”

ICD-10 became live Oct. 1, 2015, the start of the government’s next fiscal year.

“During one of our remote broadcasts, when we were broadcasting live from the annual conference of AHIMA (the American Health Information Association), we did a live countdown to the start of the new fiscal year,” Buck remembers. “At that point in time, ICD-10 became official.”

Contrary to some prognostications, the world didn’t end.

“In recent months, organized medicine has been consumed by the anticipated transition to the 10th iteration of the International Classification of Disease system,” the summary of a 2016 American Journal of Neuroradiology study report, “ICD-10: History and Context,” read. “Implementation has come and gone without the disruptive effects predicted by many.”

One might have surmised at the time that with the implementation of the new code set, the broadcast concept might become irrelevant. But that was not the case.

“We have continued to monitor and report each Tuesday on the challenges faced by coders in their implementation of ICD-10,” Buck said. “And with each fiscal year, there are updates to ICD-10 we dutifully report.”

And of course, now there’s ICD-11, which became available for use globally on Jan. 1, 2022, has since been adopted by dozens of countries worldwide, and is currently being considered for initial use to track morbidity in the U.S. A July 2023 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report, “Preparing for (ICD-11) in the U.S. Health Care System,” estimated that upgrading fully would “require a minimum of 4 to 5 years of time, effort, and resources.”

By then, the broadcast will have topped 1,000 episodes.

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Mark Spivey

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for RACmonitor.com, ICD10monitor.com, and Auditor Monitor who has been writing and editing material about the federal oversight of American healthcare for more than a decade.

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