Hospital CIOs skeptical about ICD-10 benefits

Most hospital CIOs say the ICD-10 delay was warranted, according to the results of a recent survey, but many executives still plan to push forward with the coding implementation as if the deadline never had been changed.

Specifically, 72 percent of CIOs surveyed called the delay good for their organizations, with some indicating that they felt pressure due to overlapping CMS regulations and deadlines. Others said they felt as if they were "running out of runway" for ICD-10.

Eighty-four percent of CIOs surveyed plan on staying the course with their ICD-10 implementation efforts. Some executives said that once a new deadline is in place, they'll reevaluate their efforts at that time, while others said they have already spent too much money to change course now.

"Investments are already made, so they can't be unmade," one CIO commented.

Despite plans to move forward with ICD-10, most respondents were skeptical about the reasoning behind the implementation. Eighty percent said they saw no cost/benefit ratio to ICD-10, and many even brought up skipping ahead to ICD-11 as an alternative.

The latter suggestion was discussed in an article published late last month in Health Affairs. Christopher Chute, M.D., a biomedical informatics professor at the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, and several colleagues said that the ICD-10 delay is necessary, but added that ICD-11 permitted "more natural classifications" for providers.

"Policy makers should ... begin planning now for ways to make the coming transition to ICD-11 as tolerable as possible for the healthcare and payment community," the authors wrote.

To learn more:
- check out the survey results
- here's the Health Affairs article (subscription required)

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