Survey finds lack of preparedness for ICD-10

Only weeks away from the original ICD-10 deadline, just 11 percent of healthcare organizations said they are fully ready to implement the new coding system, according to a survey by SearchHealthIT and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The survey of 326 healthcare organizations conducted this summer stands in contrast to the "surprising" level of readiness reported from a poll of 349 providers between May and June by the American Health Information Management Association and the eHealth Initiative.

The SearchHealthIT-CHIME poll found its own surprises about the mandate, now pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015, including:

  • More than 59 percent of respondents indicated they have not begun testing
  • Of that 59 percent, more than three-quarters have not completed software upgrades on their networks to support ICD-10
  • 41 percent said they will incur additional consultant retainer costs because of the delay
  • 45 percent said they couldn't even guess how much the delay will end up costing them
  • 55 percent said the delay won't allow for IT staff to implement other IT systems for better documentation, coding, etc.
  • Two-thirds indicated the ICD-10 delay will not negatively affect Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation. However, 31 percent said they will consider skipping a year of Stage 2 incentives to make sure the ICD-10 implementation goes smoothly, because there aren't enough resources to focus on both.

With the deadline changed twice in the last two years, providers remain skeptical that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will stick with the new deadline--though it keeps insisting Oct. 1, 2015, is for real. This time, it has announced plans for readiness testing for providers, including end-to-end testing.

Experts are urging healthcare organizations to use the extra year to do more training and testing as they seek to improve their clinical documentation.

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