Most hospitals were ready for ICD-10 in 2014

Most hospital and health system leaders said their organizations were ready to transition to ICD-10 this year but they didn't think that physicians and payers were prepared, according to a new Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) survey.

The HFMA this week released the results of its poll of 139 hospital execs and revenue cycle leaders regarding ICD-10 preparedness efforts and the challenges involved. A majority of provider revenue cycle leaders said they would have been ready for the ICD-10 transition by Oct. 1 if lawmakers didn't delay implementation of the new code set, with confidence proportional to organization size, according to the survey results. However, revenue cycle leaders "largely believed" payers and physicians would have been unprepared.

"The biggest hurdles hospitals and health system revenue cycle leaders expect to face in their transition to ICD-10 are the readiness of physicians and payers, as opposed to internal--and more controllable--challenges around having the right HIM [health information management] coding staff resources or staff training," the results state.

The majority of hospitals updated most of their systems to support ICD-10 coding, according to the results, but more than 40 percent haven't established a testing plan with their top three to five payers. Furthermore, most hospitals and health systems analyzed less than half of their contracts to determine the transition's financial impact. Almost 75 percent of respondents said that their organizations intend to have established metrics to monitor revenue cycle impact by October. A majority are not confident about their ability to predict its impact on payment, cash flow and discharged not final billed, according to the survey.

Not only are larger organizations in a better position to understand the ICD-10 transition's financial impact, they are also more likely to establish contingency plans, according to the survey.

Healthcare experts recommend several strategies providers can take during the ICD-10 delay. The action plan includes conducting further testing, extending and modifying existing training plans and maintaining momentum so organizations are ready when the government announces the new implementation deadline, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- download the survey results (.pdf)