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AHIMA Applauds HHS Approval of ICD-10 Final Rules

CHICAGO, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- "The American Health Information Management Association congratulates Secretary Leavitt and the Department of Health and Human Services on the approval of Final Rules for adoption of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS. This action will greatly improve America's health information for years to come while bringing it into alignment with the rest of the industrial world. It is for these and other reasons, that the health information management profession is eager to help lead the American healthcare community through the immediate implementation of these 21st century diagnostic and procedural systems.

"AHIMA was sorry to see the compliance deadline extended to October 1, 2013. This further extension means more years without the data needed to make intelligent data-driven decisions related to all aspects of healthcare. None-the-less, this extra time gives the industry no excuse for an adequate implementation and compliance. The extra time should be used wisely and the industry needs to start now and not wait.

"It has been a long road to this point of the adoption process, and for many years AHIMA has championed ICD-10 classifications as the proper upgrade to the antiquated system currently in place. However, it is the countless and selfless individuals who developed, designed and tested these contemporary classification systems -- and those who have advocated for its adoption and implementation -- who deserve our deepest appreciation.

"The transition to the ICD-10 classification will not be simple. Nevertheless, once in place, these classifications will significantly improve our nation's ability to provide information comparable to medicine's growing knowledge of diseases, its latest procedures and newest technologies. Furthermore, ICD-10 opens the door to an array of important health system improvements such as more precise quality patient care measurements, an international public health exchange and research data and information that supports decisions related to our national health policy.

"AHIMA is committed to working with HHS and contributing our knowledge and experience to support the smoothest possible transition to ICD-10 classifications for America's healthcare industry. America's health information management profession calls on all healthcare entities -- including healthcare system technology vendors -- to begin ICD-10 implementation and the development of applicable new software.

"There is no time to dely. The need for competent healthcare information is always urgent; the time for it is always now."

SOURCE American Health Information Management Association
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