Survey: Less than 10% of physician practices ready for ICD-10

Less than 10 percent of practices responding to a survey issued by the Medical Group Management Association are ready for the transition to ICD-10, the group announced this week. While the number is up from 4.7 percent who indicated readiness last summer, it adds to a growing chorus of providers and payers who indicate they aren't ready to switch from using ICD-9 coding.

For instance, in a similar survey published by Medical claims clearinghouse last month, 74 percent of physician practice respondents said they had yet to begin implementation of their ICD-10 transition plan.

The deadline to switch to ICD-10 is Oct. 1.

"The critical coordination that must take place between practices and their software vendor, clearinghouse and health plan partners is not happening at the pace required for a seamless implementation," Susan Turney, MGMA president and CEO said in a statement. "Very simply, ICD-10 is behind schedule."

For the survey, MGMA received responses from more than 570 medical groups comprised of more than 21,000 physicians.

MGMA called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer end-to-end testing for providers, in addition to:

  • Releasing all Medicare & Medicaid payment edits
  • Consistently publishing and updating the readiness levels of Medicare contractors and Medicaid agencies
  • Assessing vendor readiness
  • Expanding education efforts

Local Medicare Administrative Contractors will, in fact, offer ICD-10 testing for providers from March 3-7, but only front-end testing.

In conjunction with the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and a vendor partner, the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium recently announced that it would offer ICD-10 testing to providers and payers in the Bay State to try to reduce time and money spent on the transition.

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange in January urged the federal government to conduct additional Medicare testing prior to the implementation of ICD-10 in a letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The American Hospital Association also has pushed for the federal government to conduct ICD-10 testing.

The World Health Organization recently postponed rollout of ICD-11 by two years, from 2015 to 2017.

To learn more:
- here's the MGMA announcement
- here's the CMS notice (.pdf)
- read the MHDC announcement

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