The Healthcare Billing & Management Association has created an ICD-10 Task Force to help implement a major change in the way doctors, hospitals and other health care providers communicate with insurers.

The HBMA, Laguna Beach, Calif., says the 4-year mission of the committee will be to help providers and payers move to a new diagnostic code set.

“The magnitude of this administrative change will be far greater than anything the health care field has seen in our lifetimes,” Holly Louie, chair of the ICD-10 Task Force, says in a statement about the upcoming shift. “If the transition to the new electronic standards and entirely new coding system is not well-planned, providers and their business partners could see major disruption.

Participants in the new task force will include representatives from America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, and a number of technology vendors and technology groups, organizers say.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed ICD-10 implementation rules in October 2008. The department is still working on a final rule.

Billers will face major obstacles once HHS starts the shift, because many office-based and hospital-based physicians lack regular access to online resources, and communicating with them and training them will be challenging, Louie says.