Conduct further testing

by Zack Budryk

Most providers plan to use the delay to conduct additional testing. "Should we get an additional year, obviously we are going to be strongly urging CMS to take advantage of the additional time and open up end-to-end testing with whoever wants to do it," Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser at the Medical Group Management Association, told EHR Intelligence before the bill was signed into law. "Let's get that information back out there so we can get that feedback loop going, so providers can be ready, should the date be October 1, 2015."

"After the Senate vote… I sent an email to the CIOs [chief information officers] of payers and providers in Massachusetts, suggesting that we need to capture the millions spent locally in ICD-10 preparations before mothballing our projects," John Halamka, CIO for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, wrote in a blog post. "I suggested that we should continue with testing and go live with as much technology as we can in 2014, minimizing risk to our revenue cycles."  

Many of the CIOs Halamka emailed agreed with his recommendation, according to the post. "We are still discussing internally but I had assumed we would continue with the current test plan.  I am not sure we will continue the same level of testing efforts after 10/1/14," he quotes one respondent. And since some providers were prepared for the Oct. 1 , 2014 implementation date, they can use that to their advantage, Deloitte Healthcare Provider Lead Mitch Morris, M.D., wrote earlier this month.

"Those who are further along in the transition should consider whether it is possible to continue technology testing in light of potential future system changes as well as vendor readiness. This updated timeline could also allow for additional testing waves for system upgrades, integration testing and an end-to-end evaluation including payer collaboration," Morris wrote. "Additionally, an evaluation of other initiatives originally placed on hold, such as a new revenue cycle system implementation or computer-assisted coding tools, may now be a possibility with the delayed date."

Conduct further testing