ICD-10 implementation efforts continue to drag

Procrastination continues to run rampant when it comes to the ICD-10 transition. The latest evidence comes courtesy of survey results unveiled this week by healthcare revenue IT vendor Health Revenue Assurance Holdings that show 20 percent of responding small- and mid-sized hospitals have yet to start any education or training for the shift, which has a deadline of Oct. 1, 2014.

"The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is equivalent to learning another language; it will not be as easy as flipping a switch," HRAA CEO Andrea Clark said in a statement. "[Health information management] coders must be exposed and then trained on the fundamentals of ICD-10 to ensure that a hospital's revenue system remains intact and that millions will not be left on the table when the transition takes place."

Of 120 hospitals surveyed, 40 percent have yet to start any ICD-10 clinical modification training for coding staff, while 55 percent make the same claim about ICD-10 procedure coding system training. What's more, 31 percent of respondents said they don't plan to dual code before the deadline, while 25 percent said they will start dual coding in January 2014, and 24 percent will do so in April of that year.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner reiterated at the HIMSS annual meeting in New Orleans last month that the ICD-10 implementation deadline--which, last summer, was pushed back from an original deadline of Oct. 1, 2013--would not be altered again.

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

To learn more:
- here's the HRAA announcement


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