Maintain momentum

by Zack Budryk

Lastly, providers should make sure that, regardless of how long the delay lasts, they keep up the motivation they had prior to the announcement. Fifty-eight percent of respondents in Deloitte's polling worried that the delay would hurt momentum, compared to only 14 percent who believed they would have time to catch up. However, a plurality of respondents said they would proceed according to their original schedule.

For example, 82-hospital Catholic Health East (CHE) Trinity Health "will continue moving forward with ICD-10 implementation and maintain momentum, with little regard for the delay," Tauana McDonald, vice president of program excellence at CHE Trinity Health, told Health IT News. Even after the delay, McDonald said, ICD-10 "deserves our continued focus and attention," because the transition will improve documentation, patient care and population health management.

One way to maintain momentum without wasting time is to determine what aspects of the transition you can complete now, Christine Armstrong of Deloitte's healthcare practice told Information Week. Although the government has yet to announce a new deadline, Deloitte expects it will be October 2015, Armstrong said. "We've created what we call the reverse timeline, putting in the deadline and working backwards from that," she said. "You need to look at the existing, current state of projects, where they are on the timeline, and figure out what are the things that we can continue on with and perhaps finish."

And while the industry awaits for CMS to announce the new implementation date, some providers may want to prepare for the transition via dual coding. "We are still waiting on guidance from CMS regarding the delay," Mike Smith, system chief information officer at Lee Memorial Health System, told FierceHealthcare in an email. "But lacking that guidance… We are continuing with dual coding but on a less intense pace.  i.e. [we] will do dual coding but a fewer [percentage] of charts."

Maintain momentum