Keeping Your ICD-10 Conversion on Track

December 19, 2012

The ICD-10 conversion is a significant undertaking for small and large practices alike. Without a focused and clear plan, some providers may run the risk of missing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Oct. 1, 2014, deadline, which could lead to delays in claims payments. The ability of multiple business teams, including but not limited to the Information Technology (IT) team, to manage the threat of “scope creep” is crucial to converting to ICD-10 on time and within budget. 

“Scope creep” may be defined quite literally – when the scope of one’s project creeps beyond its original time and budget boundaries, line item, by line item. Scope creep often goes unnoticed until deadlines and expenses are impacted.

Make a Plan

A comprehensive plan with a clear vision and buy-in from the necessary stakeholders is one of the best defenses against scope creep. Everyone working on the implementation should be able to use the plan to make key decisions.

Assess Your Vendors

Your health information technology vendors may be assisting you with hardware purchasing and installation, maintenance, support services and infrastructure needs. Communicate your ICD-10 conversion plan to your vendors so they understand your goals. Ask your vendor to commit to detailed deliverables and a defined resolution process. If you have signed a contract without precise specifications, request an addendum.

Communication is Key

Ensure your team knows the goals and the limitations of your plan. Engage stakeholders from the beginning and provide frequent updates about accomplishments and challenges. A well-communicated plan that engages your health care organization as well as your vendors can help guard against scope creep to keep your ICD-10 implementation plan on time and within budget.

For additional information on ICD-10, visit the Standards and Requirements/ICD-10 section of our website at We also encourage you to complete our ICD-10 Provider Readiness Assessment Survey, which is available in the Standards and Requirements/ICD-10 section of our website at