BETWEEN THE LINES
By John Klossner
The amount of data
by 2020, partly due to the
growing use of sensors.
IDC’S DIGI TAL UNIVERSE STUD Y, JUNE 2011
In IT Decisions
IT Faces Deadline on New Medical Codes
A NEW FEDERALLY MANDATED medical coding system designed to better track diagnoses and treat- ments is requiring a massive overhaul of healthcare I T systems that some say
will be nearly impossible to complete on time.
Medical providers and insurance payers
must move from the current ICD- 9 coding
system to ICD- 10 by Oct. 1, 2013.
“A large percentage of hospitals are in the
heavy analysis stage, or they’re just starting,” said Casey Corcoran, a vice president at
General Dynamics Information Technology,
which offers ICD- 10 consulting services.
The goal is to replace 15,000 seven-digit codes
for medical transactions with 68,000 new,
more granular codes, but the conversion comes
at a time when providers are already racing to
implement electronic health record systems.
The ICD- 10 changeover will probably cost
large hospitals $2 million to $5 million, and
large healthcare groups as much as $20 million,
said James Swanson, director of client services
at Virtusa, an IT services provider.
In an increasing number of organizations, it’s not the CIO who’s deciding
which IT projects should get funding
— it’s the chief financial officer.
A recent survey of 344 senior
financial executives by Gartner and
two financial management associations found that CFOs “authorized”
26% of IT investments. The survey
also showed that 42% of IT organizations report to the CFO, and 33%
to the CEO.
In a warning shot to CIOs, only
30% of the CFO respondents said
they believe that IT provides clear
business benefits, and only 32%
said that they view the CIO as a
The study’s message is that “IT
needs to get much closer to busi-
ness,” said Gartner analyst John
Van Decker. Otherwise, “what you
are going to see is more of the con-
trol being taken away” from CIOs,
Van Decker acknowledged that
the survey reflects the bias of CFOs
and their view of what’s occurring
in their organizations.
The CIO job won’t disappear, Van
Decker said, but it could erode. If
CIOs don’t become more business-
oriented, he warned, business units
“will go off and do their own thing
and involve IT at a minimum.”
— PATrICk ThIbODEAu