Computer Assisted Coding: A Critical Step to ICD-10 Readiness


One of the mICD-10ost significant initiatives in recent healthcare history, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision mandate (ICD-10) is scheduled for adoption on October 1, 2014. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) has set the deadline to help the US Healthcare system transition into the new code set which is meant to incorporate more specific clinical information and is expected to reduce payment errors and speed reimbursement. However, since the transition is complex and will impact the entire enterprise, it is important to have a strategy in place.

As healthcare organizations prepare for the changeover from ICD-9 to the new ICD-10 code sets, we have seen the development of new supporting software tools that are meant to aid in the strategic plan. One of these tools is computer assisted coding (CAC), which is based on natural language processing (NPL). By reading and interpreting physicians’ electronic clinical documentation in patient records, CAC solutions are designed to provide an automated process that results in faster, more productive coding while maintaining or improving accuracy levels.

Sources of CAC tools are primarily health information management and transcription/voice processing vendors. The following is a list of some of the key vendors and their CAC solutions:


Other related computer-assisted coding tools are on the market today to automate clinical documentation, including 3M’s Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) System and Nuance’s Computer Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD).

Various ICD-10 tools are available as well. These include 3M’s ICD-10 Code Translation Tool (CTT) and Dolbey’s DocAssist, which offers physicians “intelligent guidance” related to the ICD-10 learning curve.

In addition, many vendors offer ICD-10 consulting services to help with the transition, including readiness assessment, impact assessment, ICD-10 training, etc. Some of these providers include Elsevier’s MC Strategies, HealthStream and OptumInsight.

MD Buyline offers Quote Analysis services and benchmark pricing for many of these tools and services.

The clock is ticking. Is your organization on track to meet the October 1, 2014 deadline?

Phyllis Carlin, BA
Phyllis Carlin, BA, IT Analyst — Ms. Carlin joined MD Buyline in 1995 with over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry. As a specialist in IT software solutions at MD Buyline, Ms. Carlin has primary responsibility for several technologies, voice processing (e.g., dictation, transcription and CVR), real-time location systems, enterprise resource planning (e.g., financial, supply chain and human capital management), time and attendance, staff scheduling, financial decision support, bed/capacity management, food and nutrition management, interactive patient communication and home healthcare. Ms. Carlin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University.