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First Human Services Providers Cross ICD-10 Readiness Line

Benefits trump temptation to wait, say provider organizations

Overland Park, Kan. – WEBWIRE

Thirteen months. That’s how much time remains before the current code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures are scheduled to become invalid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made it clear that any claims made on or after Oct. 9, 2015 with ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition) codes won’t be paid. And while the deadline may seem distant for some, others aren’t chancing it. They’ve collaborated with Netsmart to make the changes before October of this year rather than next.

“I don’t know why anyone would wait,” says Larraine M. Stehlik, director of intake, information and assessments for OhioGuidestone, which provides services to 14,000 children and families annually ranging from foster care to residential care to community-based and mental health services. For OhioGuidestone and other providers, the threat of the deadline is less of a motivator than the benefits of switching to ICD-10-CM/PCS (International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, Clinical Modification/Procedure Coding System).

Jim Rodriguez, senior business analyst for Child Guidance Center in Florida, says the description-based diagnoses with ICD-10 feel more natural than the numerically coded functionality of the 30-year-old ICD-9 system. “People picked it up really quickly,” says Rodriguez who trained staff on ICD-10 in just one hour using their Netsmart CareRecord™. Netsmart uses the term CareRecord for its electronic health records (EHRs) because they support, improve and integrate the care delivery process seamlessly across all levels of care.

While a recent survey of healthcare organizations by SearchHealthIT and Chime indicates that only 11 percent of providers are ready to implement ICD-10, a growing number of Netsmart clients are sharing they’ve already gone live with the new coding system.

“It demonstrates their commitment to the vulnerable populations they serve,” says Netsmart Chief Executive Officer Mike Valentine. “First and foremost, they want to do what’s best for their clients. And if we can help make the switch to ICD-10 seamless, they can concentrate their efforts on providing services rather than worrying about a potential interruption for non-compliance.”

“At OhioGuidestone, we like being on the front edge of things instead of trying to catch up and frantically work toward something that we should have been working toward a long time ago,” Stehlik adds.

Still, the clock is ticking for the vast majority of providers. In alignment with Netsmart’s obligation to this community, the company is helping to found an ICD10 readiness group on LinkedIn where providers who have crossed the readiness line and other experts can collaborate to assist fellow organizations.

For more information about how Netsmart can help your organization make the change to ICD-10, visit the Netsmart ICD-10 information web page or call 1-800-472-5509.

About Netsmart

Netsmart is committed to helping health and human services providers deliver effective, outcomes-based care with Netsmart’s CareFabric™ solution, a tightly woven framework of innovative clinical and business solutions and services that supports integrated, coordinated delivery of health services across the spectrum of care.

More than 23,000 client organizations, including 450,000 care providers and more than 40 state systems, use Netsmart solutions to help improve the quality of life for more than 25 million people each day.

Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which was established for behavioral and public health organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories. For more information, visit

Learn more about how Netsmart and the CareFabric solution are changing the face of healthcare today. Visit, call 1-800-472-5509, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or visit us on YouTube.

CareRecord and CareFabric are trademarks of Netsmart Technologies, Inc.


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