ICD-10 delay has hurt readiness

September 26, 2014 in Medical Technology

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange this week shared the results of its latest ICD-10 survey with HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. It suggests that some momentum was lost as payers, vendors and providers eased up on the gas pedal.

[See also: ICD-10 'storm' posing dilemmas for health information management strategies]

In a Sept. 24 letter to Burwell, WEDI offered its analysis of the August 2014 survey, which aims to offer a progress report of industry readiness with the Oct. 1, 2015 switchover date just a year away.

Of the 324 providers,103 payers and 87 vendors polled, the numbers suggest the latter two groups “continue to make progress,” WEDI Chair Jim Daley writes, “but some tasks are slipping into 2015, particularly those related to testing.”

[See also: ICD-10 cost a 'crushing burden' for docs]

As for hospitals and ambulatory practices, “it appears the delay has negatively impacted provider progress, causing two-thirds of provider respondents to slow down efforts or place them on hold,” according to the letter.

True, the deadline change has made for an extra year to get technology and processes in order. But, as many feared when the date was changed in a surprise move this past spring, some organizations have failed to take full advantage of the additional time, the survey shows.?

“Unless all industry segments make a dedicated effort to continue to move forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2015,” Daley writes.

Among the other takeaways from the ICD-10 survey shared with HHS:

  • Just half of the providers polled say they’ve completed impact assessments – a percentage that’s essentially unchanged since this time last year, according to WEDI. About two-fifths either expect to complete their assessments in 2015, or are unsure when. Larger providers are in better shape on this front, while most smaller providers still have ground to make up.
  • About one-third of providers say they’ve started external testing. But in the October 2013 survey, three-fifths had expected to be doing that by mid-2014. In this latest survey, more than half said they weren’t sure, or would begin the process in 2015. Again, smaller providers were more likely to be unsure of their plans.
  • As for vendors, they’re showing improvement over the previous survey: About two-fifths said they’ve completed product development, and another third are at least three-quarters there. Fewer than 10 percent reported being halfway or less than halfway complete.
  • Some two-thirds of vendors said their products are already available, but more than  one-quarter said their ICD-10 tools would most likely not be ready until 2015.
  • Payers are best-prepared. Nearly three-quarters of health plans say they’ve finished with their impact assessment and another 17 percent or so were nearly complete.   
  • As for testing, more than half of the plans have begun external testing – a big jump compared with fewer than one-quarter of them in the prior survey, according to WEDI. Still, another 25 percent or so of payers don’t plan to start external testing until 2015.  
  • With regard to external testing approach: Roughly three-fifths of health plans say they’ll interface with a small sample of their providers; one-fifth say they’ll test with a majority of them; a handful of payers reported they’d only test with clearinghouses.
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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/icd-10-delay-has-hurt-readiness

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