Providers Expect Short-Term Pain from ICD-10 Delay

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While most healthcare organizations are generally prepared to begin ICD-10 testing in the near future, they are concerned about the impact of ICD-10 on workflow, productivity, and reimbursement.

That is the conclusion of a new national survey conducted by the American Health Information Management Association, transactions processing management and testing vendor Edifecs, and the eHealth Initiative.

The survey, conducted in May and June 2014, assesses the anticipated impact of ICD-10, with responses from 349 stakeholders including 101 clinics/physician practices and 115 acute care hospitals or integrated healthcare delivery systems.

When it comes to healthcare organizations utilizing ICD-10 codes with their health IT infrastructure, 45 percent of respondents expressed concerns about interacting with accounting and billing systems, 39 percent with EHR systems, 37 percent with analytics software, and 33 percent with health information exchange.

Overall, in the short term, respondents to the survey believe ICD-10 will make common activities like documenting patient encounters and adjudicating reimbursement more difficult. In the long term, they expect increased specificity to help improve research, population health management, quality and performance measurement, and the accuracy of claims.

During the first year of ICD-10 compliance, 38 percent of respondents believe that revenue will decrease, 14 percent predict revenue will stay neutral, and 6 percent project that revenue will increase. And, 26 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed have not conducted a revenue impact assessment.

Though the one-year delay in the ICD-10 compliance deadline is expected to cost organizations more money, they are using the additional time to prepare their workforce for the transition with 61 percent training more staff.

About 27 percent of respondents say they were ready for ICD-10 testing in the third quarter of 2014, 14 percent believe they will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2014, almost 12 percent report they will be ready in the first quarter of 2015, nearly 10 percent are looking at the second quarter of 2015, and 2.5 percent will be ready in the third quarter of 2015.

In addition, a little more than 10 percent of respondents indicate that they have no plans for ICD-10 end-to-end testing whatsoever. It’s interesting to note that 53 percent of those with no plans for end-to-end testing are physician practices and clinics, while only one hospital/ integrated healthcare delivery system has no such plans.

Of the healthcare organizations who are not planning on performing end-to-end testing,  41 percent say they do not know how to perform testing, 14 percent report that testing costs too much, another 14 percent believe testing is unnecessary, and 6 percent report that their business partners will not perform testing with them. Moreover, most respondents don’t have a very good sense of how ready their partners will be for the ICD-10 code switchover.

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