Prior to attending medical school, Parth Desai took a gap year to help his mom manage his dad’s small internal medicine practice. She was worried about how she was going to handle the looming transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Parth said he would help her out.
He looked at different consultants and programs, but they were all too complicated, too expensive, or both. He also looked at a number of different ICD-10 training programs, but didn’t really find anything that he thought was that good. He wanted help with code conversions, but everything he saw was slow, or required additional personnel, or was too costly.
So, he did what lots of entrepreneurs do, he decided to build what he needed himself. He enlisted his former college roommate, Will Pattiz, a “tech whiz, outdoor enthusiast, and filmmaker” to help him and together they developed software that automates the conversion of ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes.
Once they completed the task, they decided they shouldn’t limit the use of the software to just Parth’s dad’s practice. They spent some more time cleaning it up and making it pretty. It is now available online at ICD10Charts.com.
It’s free to any doctor in the country who wants to use it – and ready in plenty of time for practices to get ready for the October 1, 2015 deadline for compliance with the required conversion.
I asked Parth why he didn’t turn ICD-10 Charts into a business – after all he had already found out that there are consultants and companies who view the conversion requirement as a goldmine. He said he grew up working in his family’s practice and he wanted to do something for solo docs and small practices. His plan is to go into practice with his dad and brother after he completes his training.
I had a chance to spend some time on the ICD10 Charts’ site and found that overall everything worked as it was supposed to and it was easy to use. Parth and Will have also designed a ICD-9 to – ICD-10 conversion training course – again – free for anyone who wants to take it.
They will release a comprehensive ICD-10 training course some time later this month. This new ICD-10 training course is being supported by the non-profit physician advocate group, The Physicians Foundation, which is a non-profit physicians’ advocacy group.
I was able to zip through the training course in about an hour. It was easy to use and, with the exception of the music that wasn’t my cup of tea, I enjoyed going step-by-step through the process. I felt fully capable of using both the ICD-9 to ICD-10 converter and building my own customized charts after completing it.
Although I cannot personally vouch for the accuracy of the code conversions, Parth tells me,
“The ICD-9 to ICD-10 code conversions were not made by us We used the official code conversions that were provided to us by CMS. Further, we are using the data with a educational license from the World Health Organization (WHO). The conversions are identical to the code conversions used by every single other ICD-10 vendor because as part of all of our license agreements with the WHO, nobody is allowed to alter the ICD-10 diagnosis codes used in their software.”
As far as user testing goes, Parth says his dad has already used the software successfully to implement ICD-10 in his practice. Further, ICD10Charts currently has about 7,000 other practices throughout the country using the site, and they are growing at a rate of 300-500 new users per day. Parth and Will continue to make changes and additions to the site regularly based on user feedback
What I love about this story is that it is about so much more than just the software and a training course. It is about a young man (and his friend) who saw a problem, designed a solution, and gave it away for free – all before one of them went to medical school. Parth and Will, my hat is off to you.
Parth Desai is a second-year medical student at Mercer University and CEO of ICD-10 Charts. Patricia Salber is a blogger at The Doctor Weighs In.