Practices badly lagging on ICD-10

February 5, 2014 in Medical Technology

Just eight months out from the ICD-10 compliance date, fewer than 10 percent of physician practices say they’ve made significant progress in their readiness for implementation, according to the Medical Group Management Association.  

As such, MGMA is urging the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services to “immediately take action” to help get practices on track.

“The critical coordination that must take place between practices and their software vendor, clearinghouse and health plan partners is simply not happening at the pace required for a seamless implementation,” said MGMA President and CEO Susan L. Turney, MD in a press statement.

“Very simply, ICD-10 is behind schedule,” she said. “MGMA continues to advocate on behalf of members and provide tools and resources to help practice executives make the transition to ICD-10 more cost effective and less disruptive to their organizations.”

MGMA’s requests of CMS include:

  • Initiating complete end-to-end testing with physician practices – assessing claims throughout the entire business cycle
  • Releasing all Medicare and Medicaid payment edits and advising commercial health plans to do the same
  • Publishing on an ongoing basis the readiness level of all Medicare contractors and state Medicaid agencies
  • Assessing the readiness and targeting outreach to practice management and electronic health record software vendors serving physician practices
  • Continuing to expand provider education efforts, especially to smaller and more vulnerable organizations

“As the agency overseeing the nation’s largest health plan, it is imperative that CMS show leadership by reversing its position and begin end-to-end provider testing,” said Turney in a statement.

“The publication of testing schedules, payment policies and readiness levels are all necessary actions for both CMS and practice trading partners in the private sector,” she added. “Without this preparation, there will be significant increases in cash flow disruptions to practices that will affect the ability to treat patients.”

MGMA’s research showed that information technology remained a huge obstacle for many practices, according to a news release.

?Based on responses from more than 570 medical groups employing some 21,000 physicians, MGMA found that more than 80 percent of practices say that their PM software would require replacement or upgrading in order to accommodate ICD-10 diagnosis codes – up from 73.2 percent in June. Moreover, 81.8 percent indicate that their EHR needs to be replaced or upgraded, a jump from 65.3 percent in June.

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