Survey: Providers Lag in ICD-10 Testing Ahead of Transition

June 18, 2015 in News

The majority of providers have not yet conducted ICD-10 testing, according to a survey by the American Health Information Management Association and eHealth Initiative, Health Data Management reports.

The annual survey, conducted between May and June, polled 271 providers to gauge their preparedness for the ICD-10 transition.

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 by Oct. 1.


Overall, the survey found that while many providers have taken steps to prepare for the implementation of ICD-10, many lag behind in terms of testing. Specifically:

  • 50% of respondents said they have conducted test transactions with payers and clearinghouses;
  • 34% said they have completed all internal testing; and
  • 17% said they have completed all external testing (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 6/18).

Meanwhile, 20% of respondents said they do not plan on conducting end-to-end testing (Tahir et al., “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 6/18).

According to the survey, the majority of respondents have taken steps other than testing to prepare for the ICD-10 transition, with:

  • 78% saying they are providing ICD-10 resources and educational materials to their staff;
  • 73% saying they are creating teams to assess readiness and make implementation preparations;
  • 72% saying they are training staff on ICD-10 use;
  • 66% saying they are updating their systems to support ICD-10 codes; and
  • 64% saying they are reviewing internal processes and workflows.

The survey found that larger provider organizations have reported more progress toward preparing for the transition, compared with smaller organizations.

The survey also found that:

  • Most providers said they think the ICD-10 transition will reduce revenue (Health Data Management, 6/18); and
  • 80% of respondents said they expect the switch to decrease productivity (“Morning eHealth,” Politico, 6/18).

Respondents said they plan to mitigate loss of productivity by:

  • Contracting outsourced coding companies;
  • Hiring additional coders;
  • Purchasing computer-assisted coding tools;
  • Autocoding from electronic health record templates; and
  • Taking other steps.

Almost all respondents said they plan to measure the effect of ICD-10 following the Oct. 1 transition deadline, with just 3% saying they have no plans to do so.

Among those planning post-implementation assessments:

  • 83% said they plan to track claims denials and rejections;
  • 81% said they plan to assess coding productivity and accuracy; and
  • 64% said they plan to monitor system functionality (Health Data Management, 6/18).
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