With just over 100 days left before the October 1 ICD-10 deadline takes effect, more than half of physician practices (51 percent) in a recent readiness survey by the California Medical Association indicated they were only minimally prepared for the code switchover, while more than a fifth (21 percent) said they were not at all prepared. 

According to CMA, physician practices should be “well into the preparation and planning process for the ICD-10 transition.” However, the survey indicates that many practices are woefully unprepared to be ready to meet the October 1 compliance date.

Also See: WEDI Launches Final ICD-10 Readiness Survey

“The results are concerning, particularly since Congress has reaffirmed that they want to move forward with the implementation of ICD-10 with no more delays,” said CMA in a statement announcing the results of its survey. “Additionally, hospitals and insurance companies have told lawmakers that they are ready for the October 2015 deadline and are pushing for Congress to stick with the October 1 implementation date.”

Nonetheless, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services insists that it's not too late to get ready for ICD-10—even at this late date. CMS is recommending fivesteps to prepare for the code set transition: make a plan, train your staff, update your processes, talk to your vendors and payers, and test your systems and processes.

For its part, CMA is strongly encouraging physicians to prepare by creating an action plan and ensuring that staff and physicians are enrolling in ICD-10 training courses. To help physicians with their preparations and planning process, CMA created an ICD-10 transition webpage and published a resource, ICD-10 Transition Guide – What physicians need to know, which includes an ICD-10 preparation checklist and links to free external resources.

In addition, the group is hosting two-day intensive boot camps throughout California in partnership with the American Academy of Professional Coders. CMA and AAPC are offering specialty specific documentation webinars to help prepare physicians and practitioners to document and code for ICD-10.

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