Health Language Blog

Top Three Terminology Trends to Watch For in 2013

Posted on 01/22/13


With the recent presidential election behind us, 2013 promises to be a significant year for the healthcare industry. As the industry moves away from fee-for-service care and closer to value-based care, terminology management will be crucial for organizations to achieve compliance with industry regulations. Our top three terminology trends for 2013:

  • Trend #1: Meaningful Use. With the Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements released in the second half of 2012, providers will be focusing on meeting the criteria this year. This second phase of the initiative includes terminologies such as Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC®), Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT®), and RxNorm. It will be imperative for providers to map their laboratory, problem list and clinical drug data to these standard code sets in order to achieve Meaningful Use compliance in the short run and improve quality of patient care in the long run.
  • Trend #2: ICD-10. Due to the ICD-10 compliance deadline delay, most providers and payers have postponed their implementation efforts, but now is the time to prepare for the big shift. With a little less than two years left to transition, organizations should aim to be in the testing phase of ICD-10 by the end of this year. By working toward this timeline, organizations can better prepare themselves for next steps, including training and external testing, to ensure reimbursements and workflows aren’t interrupted starting October 1, 2014.
  • Trend #3: HCCs. While there hasn’t been a major focus on Hierarchical Condition Categories recently, there will be a greater interest in these among providers in 2013. HCCs help adjust capitation payments to health care plans based on the disease burden. In 2012, the number of categories jumped from 70 to 87, meaning more granularity as it applies to identifying a patient’s illness. EMR vendors especially are looking to incorporate the assignment of HCCs into their workflow to allow clinicians at the point of care to better document the severity of their patient’s illness.  

How is your organization preparing for these and other terminology trends in 2013? 
White Paper: Meet the Challenges of Meaningful Use Stage 2

Topics: Meaningful use, ICD-10, HCCs

About the Author

Brian McDonald