Most Hospitals Plan To Hire Consultants for ICD-10, Survey Finds

August 4, 2014 in News

The majority of hospitals in the U.S. will work with consultants and service partners to facilitate their transitions from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding, according to a new Black Book survey, EHR Intelligence reports (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 7/31).


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.

In April, President Obama signed into law legislation (HR 4302) that pushed back the ICD-10 compliance date until at least October 2015.

On Thursday, CMS announced a final rule that establishes Oct. 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 compliance deadline for payers and providers still making the transition (iHealthBeat, 8/1).

Survey Findings

After surveying 650 hospital technology and physician leaders, Black Book researchers found that:

  • 24% of hospitals currently outsource clinical documentation improvement efforts; and
  • 71% of hospitals plan to have a CDI partner by the third quarter of 2015.

Specifically, the survey showed:

  • 19% of hospitals are outsourcing coding, a rate expected to reach 47% by Oct. 1, 2015;
  • The percentage of hospitals with a CDI partner is expected to reach 71% by the third quarter of 2015 (Black Book release, 7/29); and
  • 63% of hospitals outsource transcription services, which are expected to grow to more than 70% by Oct. 1, 2015 (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 7/31).

Among large hospitals, those with at least 200 beds, with CDI partners, the survey found:

  • 88% have experienced significant gains in revenue totaling over $1 million per facility (Black Book release, 7/29);
  • 83% found care quality improvement and increases in their case mix index; and
  • More than 25% are considering upgrading their technology to keep pace with implementation of electronic health records (EHR Intelligence, 7/31).
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