Poll: 58% of Health Care Organizations Disappointed in ICD-10 Delay

April 15, 2014 in News

The majority of health care organizations are disappointed in the one-year delay of ICD-10, according to a poll by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 4/14).


U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes (iHealthBeat, 4/1).

Earlier this month, President Obama signed into law legislation (HR 4302) that pushes back the ICD-10 compliance date until at least October 2015 (iHealthBeat, 4/2).

CMS recently updated its website, noting that the agency is “examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon” (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 4/15).

Details of Poll

The poll surveyed 1,250 health care professionals during a DCHS webcast about the decision to delay the compliance date (Health Data Management, 4/14).

In regards to the delay, the poll found that:

  • 58% of respondents said they were disappointed;
  • 21% said they were indifferent;
  • 11% said they were pleased because their organization would not have met the original deadline; and
  • 11% said they were pleased because their organization can now focus on other priorities (Deloitte poll, 4/14).

In addition, the poll found: that 59% of respondents believe the delay will result in a loss of momentum or will cause their organizations to get off track with their ICD-10 planning and preparation, while 30% said they plan to ignore the delay and move forward with their implementation plans (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 4/15).

Another 25% of respondents believe their organization will have adequate time to catch up or think there will be no effect on their organization, and 16% did not answer or were uncertain about the potential effect, according to the poll.

Specifically, the poll showed that:

  • 26% of respondents said they would stop and reassess their ICD-10 implementation schedule;
  • 25% are unsure of their plan moving forward; and
  • 20% said they will slow down their implementation.

When asked where the delay would most affect their organization:

  • 58% said resources and funding;
  • 14% said systems and technology;
  • 12% said business and clinical processes;
  • 8% said external coordination; and
  • 8% were uncertain or did not answer (Deloitte poll, 4/14).

WEDI Sees Positives and Negatives in Delay

Meanwhile, Erik Newlin — co-chair of the ICD-10 Workgroup at the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange and director of national standards consulting at Xerox — noted said that the delay has both positive and negative aspects, EHR Intelligence reports.

He noted that some financial liabilities to the delay include expanding the time of testing, which also increases costs. He said, “[T]he resources that must support that testing period won’t just be needed for the next six months” but “until October of 2015, at least. ” However, Newlin said he did not think most payers would have been able to reach the October 2014 compliance deadline.

Newlin said that he does not “fault” CMS on the lack of guidance about the delay but argues that the agency should be more “transparent” (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 4/14).

Delay Affects Accreditors, Community Colleges

In related news, accrediting agencies and community colleges that were transitioning from teaching ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding also have been affected by the delay, HealthLeaders Media reports.

Shortly after the delay, the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management announced that it would postpone testing for ICD-10 accreditation until the new coding set is “officially implemented.”

According to HealthLeaders Media, about 40,000 students have been affected by the delay, and some students who were trained to use the ICD-10 code sets could “find their job prospects in limbo for at least a year.”

American Health Information Management Association CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said, “We were in good faith trying to prepare our students for the workforce that we knew was going to come about with ICD-10,” but now “instead of having our workforce ready ahead of time, which I think is better, we are saying ‘now once you change it, we will test’” (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 4/14).

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