Mount Sinai to Adopt New Diagnostic Code System

The Mount Sinai Health System, as well as every health care institution in the United States, will begin to use a more detailed set of codes to notate medical diagnosis and clinical procedures on patient medical records. This is an extraordinary undertaking that will involve several thousand faculty and voluntary physicians, practice managers, and staff in such departments as Clinical Documentation Improvement, Audit, and Compliance, who will need training over the coming months.

All institutions are required to adopt the new code sets by October 1, 2014, a date set by the U.S. federal government. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to help provide better data for evaluating and improving quality of patient care.

“This is one of the top five initiatives that will impact the entire Health System in 2014,” says Don Scanlon, Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Corporate Services, Mount Sinai Health System. “A successful implementation can set us apart from other institutions if we do this well.”

The new coding system, known as ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision) will require physicians to classify disease and conditions on the patient medical chart to an unprecedented degree of specificity. The number of codes will increase from approximately 13,000, to nearly 70,000. This will also have a major impact on billing and claims and can potentially affect timely and accurate reimbursements for hospital procedures.

The scope of ICD-10 is far-reaching: more than 80 operational systems, including the Electronic Medical Record system Epic, Eagle, IDX, 3M, PRISM, and Meditech will be interacting with ICD-10 across Mount Sinai’s seven campuses, and the need for education and training is paramount.

“Mount Sinai started planning for this project more than two years ago, and today, we have more than 200 physician champions in every department at each of our hospital campuses who are educating their peers about the new codes,” says Jeffrey Farber, MD, MBA. “By the end of March, a documentation review team will have evaluated more than 10,000 patient charts using the current ICD-9 methodology to better understand the kinds of documentation changes we will need to be compliant with ICD-10.” Dr. Farber, Chief Medical Officer of Mount Sinai Care, LLC, and Associate Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, is the project’s Physician Documentation Review sponsor.

Mount Sinai’s Information Technology Program Management Office is heading the transition and working with a team to launch a series of targeted e-learning opportunities and on-site education courses. Staff at each hospital will be notified in upcoming months about the kind of training they will be offered.

To learn more about ICD-10:

• Attend a Town Hall meeting, Tuesday, December 10, from 10 – 11 am, in Hess Center, Davis Auditorium.

• Email

• Visit or

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