AHA: Hospitals will be ready for ICD-10

Despite a multitude of reports that many providers are struggling with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, the American Hospital Association and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association recently assured Congress that its members are on track for implementation.

In letters to both House and Senate members, AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Senior Vice President Alissa Fox offered support for the move to ICD-10, saying that "any delay in implementation threatens to increase cost."

"Given that considerable effort and investment already have been made, our organizations oppose any action that seeks to introduce further delay in ICD-10 implementation," they said.

AHA touted the results of a recently conducted survey to solidify its stance. Out of roughly 750 hospitals polled, 94 percent indicated that they would meet the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for ICD-10 adoption. Pollack and Fox said the transition provides "needed modernization of coding and billing systems" that will enable "greater … accuracy and specificity," as well as boost understanding surrounding diseases being treated.

Research released last month by the Medical Group Management Association found that only 4.8 percent of more than 1,200 responding medical groups had made "significant" progress in their ICD-10 implementation efforts. MGMA President Susan Turney, in a statement, said that the data suggests that many practices are "in the dark" with regard to the ICD-10 transition.

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 letters to the House and Senate (.pdf)
- check out the survey (.pdf)

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