ICD-10 Delay – Disappointing for Over 58% of Healthcare Organizations

by | Published on May 27, 2014 | Medical Coding

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Now that it is clear that ICD-10 implementation will be delayed by a year, it is important for providers to stay focused and make the best use of the time allowed. One of the first things that healthcare organizations need to do is to analyze and evaluate their employee’s immediate reaction to the said delay. Many healthcare organizations that worked really hard and were fully ready to meet the final deadline of October 1, 2014 are disappointed and nobody can blame them. Other organizations that were not ready for the transition have breathed a sigh of relief.

As many US healthcare organizations were working for a successful transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets, this recent decision to delay the ICD-10 deadline came as a disappointment for them.  It is quite surprising, as many previous polls found that some providers were not fully ready for the transition. In fact, MGMA had reported in the month of February 2014 that only less than 10% of providers were ready for the transition.

What Studies Say about ICD-10 Delay

Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (DCHS) Poll

A recent poll was conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions asking healthcare professionals how they perceived the decision to delay the ICD-10 compliance date. The poll surveyed more than 1,250 healthcare professionals and found –

  • 58% of respondents said they were disappointed
  • 21% of respondents said they were indifferent about the delay
  • 11% said they were relieved (as their organizations were not fully equipped to meet the original deadline)+
  • 11% said they were pleased (as their organizations can now focus more on their plans)

DCHS poll also reports 49% of respondents saying October 2015 as the best time for ICD-10 coding implementation. Only 30% of respondents wanted the 2014 date replaced, and only 6% preferred the date to be moved beyond October 2015.

Healthcare Informatics Study

Healthcare Informatics study found 59% of people saying that ICD-10 delay will lead to loss of momentum or will push their organizations off-track with their ICD-10 planning and preparation and 58% saying that this delay will significantly impact their resources and funding. Only 14% revealed that the announced delay will give them extra time to prepare and catch up on testing for the new medical coding system.

A question that arises here is – how are the healthcare professionals who may not be ready even by the new ICD-10 deadline going to address the situation? They can depend on a reliable medical billing and coding company that has trained its staff on the ICD-10 coding system. Anyway, with 1 more year left for ICD-10 implementation, healthcare providers can continue with their training initiatives in an improved manner. They will get more time to re-assess and revaluate their ICD-10 plans. In addition, this will increase the knowledge of physicians and coders relating to ICD-10 coding system, thereby leading to accurate and improved clinical documentation.

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