Healthcare organizations were caught flat-footed by the one-year delay in the ICD-10 implementation deadline to October 2015, according to the finding of a new poll by the health services research arm of Deloitte LLP. The poll of 1,250 health professionals conducted during a recent Deloitte Center for Health Solutions webcast found that 58 percent of respondents were disappointed by the delay.

"To many in the healthcare industry, this delay falls into the category of unexpected news; after two previous delays, many were operating under 'full steam ahead' plans," states an April 14 Deloitte blog posting announcing the poll results. Not surprisingly, 59 percent of respondents expect a loss of momentum or getting off track in their ICD-10 planning and preparation, while only 30 percent plan to keep their original schedule.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled expect resources and funding to be impacted most by the ICD-10 delay. At the same time, respondents indicated that the "optimal scenario" for their organization was setting the deadline for October 2015, while a mere 30 percent said it was to find a way to restore the October 1, 2014 deadline.

So far, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has not communicated anything publicly regarding the code switchover process going forward. President Obama on April 1 signed into law legislation passed by the House and Senate delaying ICD-10 until at least October 1, 2015. A CMS spokesperson told Health Data Management in response to a query: "We are examining the legislation and will provide guidance to providers and other stakeholders soon."

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