Insurers unprepared for ICD-10

Insurers, along with the rest of the healthcare industry, still are lagging behind in their progress toward implementing ICD-10, according to a new survey conducted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said last month it would delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline, but because it hasn't yet announced specific plans regarding that delay, the compliance date stands still at Oct. 1, 2013.

The WEDI survey revealed that without such a delay, the industry probably wouldn't meet the 2013 deadline. Only about one-third of insurers have completed their ICD-10 assessment, and a quarter of them are less than halfway done. And providers aren't much farther ahead because almost half of them don't know when they will finish their ICD-10 impact assessment, and another half don't know when they would begin testing, reported Government HealthIT.

The survey also revealed other factors regarding insurers' ICD-10 progress:

  • About one fifth of insurers hadn't started or were less than 25 percent complete with their impact assessment/gap analysis
  • Almost one sixth of insurers hadn't started their internal business process design and development phase
  • About one fifth of insurers expected to begin internal testing of ICD-10 processing by September, while a tenth didn't expect to begin until late 2013
  • About a tenth of insurers expected to begin external testing before 2013

Survey respondents cited various reasons for their slow ICD-10 progress, including competing priorities, other regulatory mandates, staffing and customer readiness, Information Week Healthcare reported.

WEDI submitted its survey results to HHS, hoping the agency will "emphasize the point that work should continue on ICD-10," Jim Daley, WEDI's board chairman-elect, told Information Week Healthcare. "We see there is still a lot of work to do and, even if there is an extension, organizations need to keep moving forward. The amount of work required has not changed."

To learn more:
- read the WEDI ICD-10 survey (.pdf)
- read the Government HealthIT article
- see the Information Week Healthcare article