ICD-10 conversion efforts slow for physician practices

Poor communication and coordination is causing physician practice ICD-10 readiness to lag, according to new research released today by the Medical Group Management Association. According to the study, only 4.8 percent of more than 1,200 responding medical groups indicated that they had made "significant" progress in their ICD-10 implementation efforts.

"A successful transition to ICD-10 requires coordination between providers and their vendor, clearinghouse and health plan trading partners," MGMA President Susan Turney, M.D. (pictured) said in a statement. "Our data suggests that many practices are in the dark in terms of moving forward with ICD-10 as this coordination has not yet occurred."

More than 55 percent of respondents said they were "very concerned" about the overall costs related to the ICD-10 conversion. What's more, roughly 70 percent were very concerned about loss of clinician productivity following the switch from the ICD-9 code set.

Turney said that in order to avoid healthcare disruptions, vendors, clearinghouses and health plans needed to "immediately release" implementation and testing schedules for ICD-10.

"Without the necessary software changes and testing, practices will have no confidence that they will be paid for the care they deliver to their patients after Oct. 1, 2014," she said.

A recent analysis by the American Health Information Management Association painted a bleak picture for hospital ICD-10 implementation efforts, stating that most facilities either have not started with the transition, or are still in the very early stages.  What's more, a survey published in April by healthcare revenue IT vendor Health Revenue Assurance Holdings found that 20 percent of responding small- and mid-sized hospitals had yet to start any education or training for the shift.

Additionally, healthcare consultants Aloft Group and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) also have determined that the healthcare industry, by-and-large, is dragging its feet when it comes to the ICD-10 transition.

To learn more:
- here are the study results (.pdf)
- here's the MGMA-ACMPE announcement

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