Nearly one-quarter of surveyed physician practices say they won’t be ready for the October 1 ICD-10 implementation deadline and another one-quarter are unsure if they will be ready in time.

That’s the finding of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange’s latest and final ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey of 621 respondents, including 453 providers, 96 health plans and 72 vendors, conducted in June and released on Monday.

The number of health systems, hospitals, and health plans that have started or completed external ICD-10 testing is “very encouraging”—as is the number of vendors with production-ready products available to customers—WEDI concludes. And, except for physicians, nearly all respondents to the survey expect to be ready by October 1. However, physician practices are a “cause for concern” given that less than 50 percent responded that they were ready or would be ready by the compliance date, according to the organization.

“Based on the survey results, it appears that much of the industry is approaching readiness, but there is still work to do, especially for physician practices,” WEDI reports in a July 30 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell. “We assert that if the industry, and in particular physician practices, do not make a dedicated and aggressive effort to complete their implementation activities in the time remaining, there is likely to be disruption to industry claims processing on Oct. 1, 2015.”

Part of the problem is that while nearly 75 percent of health systems, hospitals, and health plans indicated they have started or completed external ICD-10 testing, only about 20 percent of physician practices surveyed have started or completed such testing.

Also See: Survey Finds Provider ICD-10 Testing Lags

In its letter to Burwell, WEDI strongly encouraged HHS to “leverage its communication channels to continue promoting the need for compliance”because of the impact that non-compliance could have on the industry.

Results of a separate poll released on Monday by SERMO, an online social network for doctors, found that 71 percent of its surveye physicians—based on 1,670 responses as of last week—were not ready for the ICD-10 transition.

On the positive side, WEDI’s survey found that 90 percent of hospitals/health systems responded that they were ready or would be ready by the ICD-10 deadline, while only a few were unsure if they would be ready. In addition, 40 percent of health plans indicated that they were already prepared and the remaining 60 percent said they would be ready by October 1. And, all vendors surveyed said that their products would be ready by the compliance date.  

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