WPC Partners with Lake Charles Memorial Health System to Identify and Address Potential ICD-10 Pitfalls

WPC Partners with Lake Charles Memorial Health System to Identify and Address Potential ICD-10 Pitfalls


Lake Charles Memorial Health System, the largest healthcare provider serving southwest Louisiana, operates three facilities with over 1,500 employees and 250 physicians. Lake Charles, like many other healthcare organizations in the United States, is facing clinical, financial, and operational risks with the transition from ICD-9 to the ICD-10 code set, a change mandated by the federal government often referred to as the Y2K of healthcare. Lake Charles Memorial Health System turned to WPC to help them navigate the uncertainty caused by ICD-10.

Business Challenge

ICD-10 dramatically changes the language and structure of how healthcare organizations communicate diagnoses and procedures across their business. Lake Charles Memorial Health System experienced what many other providers have experienced: it didn’t have a full understanding of how the transition to ICD-10 will affect its organization. There was uncertainty around the clinical and business risk, the magnitude of the change, how much work it will require across all departments, what work needs to be done, when the work will need to be done, and how much it will cost.

WPC Solution

To give Lake Charles Memorial Health System the information required to address ICD-10, WPC conducted a thorough assessment, examining each of the organization’s 60+ departments to determine where and how ICD-9 is being used in both business and technical processes, as well as the extent of the impact of the ICD-10 migration. To discover Lake Charles’s high risk mapping issues, WPC performed a General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) analysis. By looking at all the ICD-9 codes used in the previous two years, WPC experts were able to report which departments used codes that would bring the most challenges in translating to ICD-10.

After gathering and analyzing data, WPC’s team of business consultants and certified coders provided the System with a summary of findings which showed in detail by department the impact, workload, and severity that the change to ICD-10 would bring to each of the organization’s departments. WPC’s report gave Lake Charles Memorial Health System the information required to understand how to budget for the transition as well as what and when the work would be and how significant the work effort that is required.

Another major component of the project was determining education requirements, including what type of training was needed for each role across all departments. This involved determining all hospital roles that will be involved in the change to ICD-10 and to what extent. WPC determined the number of employees that would need a high level overview, advanced, documentation, and/or coder training.


WPC critically analyzed all the information gathered throughout the engagement and created actionable deliverables specifically created for Lake Charles’ business process needs to not just be ready for the enforcement of ICD-10 but to maximize the benefits of the new code set. Lake Charles Memorial Health System was very satisfied with the level of detail and thoroughness delivered and found that the WPC assessment equipped the organization for its ICD-10 remediation by planning for and determining the work that needed to be done. WPC’s unique combination of client specific business analytics and technical GEMs reports offered Lake Charles Memorial Health System the results it was seeking.

In Their Words

“WPC did a remarkable amount of work extremely efficiently and in a short time frame. WPC’s expertise has been instrumental in assisting LCMH develop a detailed plan to deal effectively with the ICD-10 transition.”

—Charles Whitson, Senior Vice President, Finance/CFO, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital

To learn more about WPC’s ICD-10 Solutions, click here.

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