To reach go-live goal, ICD-10 implementation should start in January

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Two advisory groups--the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA) and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI)--estimate that ICD-10 implementation will take 966 days. Thus, for facilities desiring to meet a a federally mandated compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2013, work on ICD-10 conversion should begin no later than Jan. 18, 2010.

The timeline was developed by the NCHICA-WEDI Timeline Initiative, a collaboration of provider, payors and vendor representatives serving on several workgroups. It details the steps required for each industry segment (providers, payors and vendors) to effectively implement ICD-10 codes.

Work on this revision of the timeline started shortly after the Jan. 16 publication of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation requiring the use of ICD-10 on transactions for any service performed on and after Oct 1, 2013. The CMS has stated its expectation that the industry meets the deadline, and no contingency period will be allowed. Based on the timeline, the industry should be working now on an implementation strategy.

Holt Anderson, the executive director of NCHICA, said that the "timeline shows graphically that the full time from now to October 2013 will be required to successfully meet the compliance deadline. We cannot continue to delay this effort."