Though vendors and health plans continue to make progress despite the one-year delay in the ICD-10 compliance deadline, providers are making little progress in preparing for the code switchover, according to results of a new survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange.
In a Sept. 24 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, WEDI provided results of its ICD-10 survey warning that the delay has negatively impacted provider progress, causing two-thirds of provider respondents to slow down efforts or place them on hold. Results of the August 2014 ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey are based on responses from 514 respondents, including 324 providers, 87 vendors and 103 health plans.
While the delay provides more time for the transition to ICD-10, many organizations are not taking full advantage of this additional time, WEDI Chairman Jim Daley wrote to Burwell. Unless all industry segments make a dedicated effort to continue to move forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2015.
According to the latest WEDI survey, about 50 percent of the providers indicated they have completed their impact assessmentessentially the same number as in the October 2013 survey. In addition, about 35 percent of providers have begun external testing, compared to the October 2013 survey when about 60 percent had expected to begin by the middle of 2014.
The lack of progress by providers, in particular smaller ones, remains a cause for concern as we move toward the compliance deadline, said Daley in a separate written statement.
When it comes to vendors and health plans, the survey results are more promising:
*About 40 percent of vendors indicated they are complete with product development, an improvement over the October 2013 survey;
*About two-thirds of vendors indicate their products are already available, nearly double the number from the prior survey; and
*Nearly 75 percent of health plans had completed their impact assessment and more than 50 percent have already begun external testing compared to less than 25 percent in the prior survey.
Nevertheless, all is not well with vendors and health plans. WEDI reports that some ICD-10 readiness tasks are slipping into 2015, particularly those related to testing.
Other factors that contribute to slow industry progress include competing internal priorities and other regulatory mandates, and in the latest survey readiness of other entities was also identified as an important factor, states the WEDI letter to HHS. It is critical to closely monitor industry progress and early testing results to gauge what might occur on Oct. 1, 2015.
WEDI plans to conduct additional ICD-10 readiness surveys to gauge stakeholder progress--since 2009 it has conducted nine such surveys. However, the organization also wants HHS to promote future ICD-10 readiness surveys in the hope that it will lead to increased response rates and a more comprehensive view of industry readiness.
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