The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a letter dated June 4 to take action to minimize disruption within the healthcare industry from the ICD-10 delay.
"It is critical that HHS work with private industry to establish credibility in a new compliance date by focusing on critical issues ... Absent these actions, we are concerned that implementation of the code sets will continue to be protracted, adding needless administrative burden and cost to the industry," Devin Jopp, WEDI president and CEO, said in an announcement.
The letter details the impact the postponement has on healthcare organizations and presents a transition roadmap that urged HHS to:
- Ensure Medicare and Medicaid readiness transparency
- Expedite, support and expand industry testing
- Expand provider education and support
- Conduct or support limited pilots
At WEDI's ICD-10 Summit in late April, provider representatives discussed the need for more vendor engagement and accountability within the ICD-10 transition process. Robert Tennant a senior policy advisor for government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, called the need for vendor assistance with the transition one of the biggest "elephants in the room."
There's widespread fear of further delays that will only increase the cost of implementing the new code set. However, American Health Information Management Association officials, CIOs and consultants encourage healthcare organizations to keep up the momentum they've gained by continuing clinical documentation improvement efforts and testing codes--efforts that continue to add to the expense.
The American Hospital Association has also expressed deep concern about the delay and urged federaql officials to take quick action to ensure hospitals understand how they plan to implement the delay.