ICD-10 Readiness Survey Says We’re Not So Ready
According to a newly released ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), only three-quarters of physician practices say they will be ready for ICD-10 implementation by Oct. 1, 2015. The remaining one-quarter of physician practices say they are “unsure” about their ICD-10 preparation levels. For the survey, 621 people said they took part in WEDI’s 11th ICD-10 readiness survey and of those who participated, 453 were healthcare providers, 72 represented vendors and 96 included representatives of health plans. The point of the survey is to help garner a more thorough perspective regarding how prepared various segments of the healthcare industry actually are for the coming transition this fall. Additionally, WEDI uses the information gathered from them to help identify struggling stakeholders toiling over compliance hindrances.According WEDI, lack of readiness may lead to disruption in claims processing. Only about 20 percent of physician practices have started or completed external testing and less than 50 percent responded said that they were ready or would be ready for October 1. Thus, organizational leadership, in a letter sent to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, shared the findings from its survey and encouraged the department to continue to leverage its communication channels to promote the need for compliance because of the impact that non-compliance could have on the industry.
Regarding the survey, although much of the healthcare industry is nearing a state of readiness, physician practices are far from done, WEDI said, stating that it is critical to closely monitor industry progress and testing results as the compliance deadline approaches to gauge what might occur on Oct. 1, 2015, to identify industry challenges and prepare for any anticipated issues. WEDI, in a statement, said it strongly encourage HHS to leverage its communication channels to continue promoting the need for compliance. “It is critical to closely monitor industry progress and testing as we approach the compliance date to gauge what might occur on Oct. 1, 2015,” states Jean P. Narcisi, chair of WEDI, in a statement. “In light of our most recent findings, we are hopeful that industry leaders take the necessary steps to help ensure that the transition to ICD-10 is completed with minimal disruption to the healthcare industry.”
Other findings of the survey include:
- Nearly 20 percent of physician practices and 75 percent of hospitals and health systems have started or completed external testing
- Less than half of physicians and 60 percent of health plans say they will be ready come October
- Nearly 90 percent of hospitals and health systems confirm readiness by the compliance date
WEDI offers the following recommendations for HHS:
- Expediently provide complete transparency regarding the readiness levels of individual Medicaid agencies, by state
- CMS’s recently announced ombudsman should be appointed quickly, well before October 1
- The go-live ICD-10 support plan should include leveraging WEDI’s and CMS’ implementation support program, with additional support needed for local determination codes (LCDs)
Given the overwhelming shortage of preparedness of ICD-10 and the amount of time organizations have had to ready for the implementation, there remains a good deal of concern for healthcare organizations to get their gears aligned. Some may have been holding out hope that another last minute delay was going to occur, but at this point, with less than 50 days before its change over, there’s only one way forward. As procrastinators may not place themselves in a fatal situation, it’s definitely time for a little expedited concern. Even if time is running out for help prior to change to the new code set, practices may need a little assistance post change. Outside consultant partners may be the most readily available source of assistance who can provide the quickest results in the most efficient manner.