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HHS praised by AHIMA for adopting WHO's classification system for diseases


CHICAGO The Department of Health and Human Services' adoption of the latest version of the World Health Organization's classification system for diseases won praise from the American Health Information Management Association.

AHIMA congratulated HHS and secretary Mike Leavitt in a statement Thursday on the adoption of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS.

"This action will greatly improve America's health information for years to come, while bringing it into alignment with the rest of the industrial world," AHIMA CEO Linda Kloss said in the statement. "It is for these, and other reasons, that the health information management profession is eager to help lead the American healthcare community through the immediate implementation of these 21st century diagnostic and procedural systems."

Kloss expressed dismay, however, that HHS extended its compliance deadline for ICD-10 until Oct. 1, 2013, because it "means more years without the data needed to make intelligent, data-driven decisions related to all aspects of health care."

AHIMA said the adoption of the ICD-10 system will improve the country's ability to provide information comparable to medicine's growing knowledge of diseases, its latest procedures and newest technologies.

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