The health care industry remains behind in readiness for the ICD-10 code set, according to the latest in a series of status surveys from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange.

The organization has conducted regular surveys since 2009, sharing results with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in an advisory role, and with the industry as a whole. The most recent survey conducted in October queried 196 providers, 59 vendors and 98 health insurers. “Based on the survey results, all industry segments appear to have made some progress since February 2013, but have not gained sufficient ground to remove concern over meeting the Oct. 1, 2014 compliance deadline,” says WEDI Chairman Jim Daley. “Unless all segments move quickly forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2014.”  Survey results show that:

* One-fifth of vendors are halfway or less than halfway complete with product development. About 60 percent are doing or plan to start customer review and beta testing by the end of 2013.

* Approximately 80 percent of surveyed payers are fully or nearly complete with their impact assessment, compared with half in February 2013, which shows moderate progress. About two-thirds have started internal testing or expect to by the end of 2013. In February 2013, three-quarters expected to be at this stage.

* One-third of payers have begun external testing or expect to start by the end of 2013, down from one-half that expected to be at the external testing point by now. About 60 percent expect to start external testing in the first half of 2014. Most insurers expect to test with a sample of providers and only about 20 percent testing with a majority of providers.

* On the provider side, about half of respondents have completed their impact assessment; one-sixth were at that stage in February 2013. About 10 percent of providers expect to start external testing in 2013 with another 50 percent gearing up for testing in the first half of 2014.

* The majority of providers plan to test with a sample of insurers or only with clearinghouses, and about a quarter expect to test with the majority of their payers.

The bottom line, according to WEDI, is that slow progress has been made but not enough necessary for a smooth transition. More survey results are available here.

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