GE Launches Centricity Practice 11 to Ease ICD-10 Coding

GE Healthcare's new version of Centricity Practice adds an ICD-10 search engine to its electronic health record and practice management platform.

GE Healthcare has unveiled Centricity Practice 11, the latest version of its combined electronic health record and practice management software that includes new features for claims code processing using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 identifier.

Announced on Jan. 24, Centricity Practice 11 incorporates a dynamic search engine and one-click data entry to ease billing processing using ICD-10.

An upgrade from ICD-9, ICD-10 allows health care providers and health insurance payers to streamline their billing processes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in August 2012 that it would extend the deadline for ICD-10 implementation to October 2014.

The number of clicks in an EHR application often frustrates users at health care practices, and Centricity Practice 11 reduces the number of clicks needed to enter a medical problem by 75 percent, from four to one, GE reported.

"One-click problem entry ensures that the user experience is that much simplified so that when they adopt these new codes, it's more efficient for the end user so the clinicians can get comfortable with both sets," Mike Friguletto, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare, told eWEEK.

Health care practices face a learning curve in transitioning to ICD-10, according to GE.

"We're just trying to mitigate the challenges that ICD-10 presents," Matt Wojcik, electronic medical record (EMR) product manager for GE Healthcare, told eWEEK.

The transition to ICD-10 could cost health care practices $300,000 to address, according to GE.

Centricity Practice preloads both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes in patient charts, and doctors can search them using the dynamic search engine. An algorithm allows the search engine to predict common search terms and automatically map them from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

The dynamic search engine for ICD-10 works like Google Search, according to Friguletto. "You start keying in something, and it will give you initial responses and continue to refine its search based on each additional letter you enter into its search box."

Dynamic search doesn't wait for the user to hit the search key, Friguletto added. "It's constantly working. "

The new version also allows health care practices to customize their workflows according to how their business operates to reduce data-entry time. It also includes prebuilt reports and enables doctors to access a GE database of 30 million de-identified patient records. This data will help doctors adhere to the meaningful-use guidelines on EHR adoption and benchmark their clinical outcomes, GE reported.

"A provider can look at his or her benchmark scores against their practice or populations within the database and get them right at their fingertips," said Friguletto.

In addition, Centricity Practice connects to any hospital EHR or revenue cycle system to enable coordination of care. It also allows doctors to view radiology images from picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).

"The transition to ICD-10 represents one of the most significant changes to clinical documentation since EHR adoption," Judy Hanover, research director with IDC Health Insights, said in a GE release. "Providers that don't manage the transition well will face high levels of denied claims, delayed payments, inconvenience to patients and potentially legal exposure in the event that improper coding is audited."

Products that are able to ease the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will likely "do very well in this market," she added.

GE introduced the previous version, Centricity Practice 10, in July 2011. That version included quality reporting metrics for physicians to track their progress toward meeting government-mandated standards on EHRs.