By all accounts, a majority of organizations are behind schedule in implementing ICD-10 and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is doing something about that.
The group this week launched a new initiative to bring together state collaborative organizations to help reduce the time and cost for implementation, as well as to bring greater efficiencies to the process. Initial partners in the effort are the California ICD-10 Collaborative, the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium, the Minnesota ICD-10 Collaborative, the NCHICA and the Wisconsin ICD-10 Collaborative.
"Partnering with other state collaboratives will strengthen communication amongst payers, providers and vendors, and align ICD-10 implementation efforts," Catherine Mesnik, finance director of St. Joseph Health System and WEDI board member, said in an announcement. The organization is focused on the use of health IT to improve the exchange of healthcare information.
The state groups' first meeting will be in July at the WEDI ICD-10/HPID Implementation Excellence Forum. A new sub-workgroup on ICD-10 is to be formed June 1.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner has stressed that the implementation deadline of Oct. 1, 2014, though pushed back once, won't be changed again. CMS reiterates that position in its updated "Myths and Facts" handout.
The level of specificity in ICD-10 has led to mockery. Last month, congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) railed against its nine different codes reflecting injury inflicted by a turkey and three ways to be injured by a lamppost, and even introduced legislation to make implementation not mandatory.
Recent surveys published by both WEDI and the Aloft Group have suggested that implementation has been plagued by foot-dragging. What's more, WEDI polled 1,000 providers, health plans and vendors in February and concluded that the industry overall is not progressing at a rate that will ensure a smooth transition by the deadline.
Christine Armstrong, principal at Deloitte, in a recent interview with FierceHealthIT, urged organizations to allow plenty of time for both internal and external testing. Those who have gone through the process so far, she said, are finding that it takes longer than expected.