ICD-10 worries remain high for small practices

The level of concern about ICD-10, especially among small practices, is "a little too high for comfort," according to a survey from NueMD, a billing and practice management software vendor.

It polled 1,000 medical practices, billing firms and other healthcare industry professionals, most from small and medium-sized medical practices.

The survey found that only 11 percent of respondents are "highly confident" their staff will be sufficiently trained by the Oct. 1 deadline to transition to the new code set, and 35 percent said they were "not at all confident" their staff will be ready, according to an announcement.

The survey was meant to gauge how respondents felt about the new coding standards and the proposed timeline for the transition. In both cases, the most common response--though from only about 30 percent of respondents--was that there should be no transition to ICD-10. Twenty-three percent said they were satisfied with the coding standards, and surprisingly, 25 percent said they were not familiar with the coding standards.

At the same time, 27 percent said they were satisfied with the transition timeline and 26 percent said the timeline should be pushed back.

More than three-quarters of the participants had major concerns that the transition would negatively affect claims processing, finances and operations. They also were concerned about software upgrade costs, payer testing, training and the compliance timeline.

Many organizations were pleased that the legislation to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula did not include another delay for ICD-10. In addition, House lawmakers have opposed any further delay, saying it would be costly and time-consuming.

In March, 22 health systems and representative organizations urged lawmakers to move forward with ICD-10 without delay.

One day later, however, 100 physician groups, led by the American Medical Association, expressed concerns about the transition in a letter to Acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Andrew Slavitt. Their concerns included testing and lack of contingency planning.

To learn more:
- check out the survey results
- read the announcement