The ICD-10 compliance date is finally less than a year away, but healthcare organizations vary in readiness for the transition.
Some experts in the healthcare industry think the delays were unnecessary and more harmful that sticking to the original date. Sue Bowman, senior director of coding policy and compliance at the American Health Information Management Association said in an interview that the transition is long overdue.
“We’ve known ICD-9 was failing and unable to really meet the needs and health information demands of today’s environment way back in the 1990s, and here it is 2014 and we still haven’t moved on the next code set,” she said.
Patrick Johnston, president of the California Association of Health Plans said that delaying ICD-10 is a “lost opportunity” because many providers had completed their preparations and were ready for a rollout.
However, the delays have also made skeptics out of many, and that is problematic, Holly Louise, chairwoman of the ICD-10 Committee, wrote in a commentary at ICD-10 Monitor.
“The expectation that additional delays will be coming in 2015 make the laissez-faire attitude logical to many. Spending more time, money, and resources for something that may never happen is simply not a financial option,” she wrote.
In addition, smaller providers still aren’t ready for the 2015 rollout, according to recent surveys.
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange found that smaller providers have struggled since the most recent ICD-10 delay, with most unsure of when they’ll complete their impact assessments.
And a survey by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives found that just 11 percent of organizations are fully ready to implement the system.
Chantal Worzala, director of policy for the American Hospital Association said that now organizations need to be engaged in not just rolling out a product, but also testing whether claims coded in ICD-10 can be submitted and processed.
There will be three different testing weeks leading up to the implementation date, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.
The time remaining should be a team event, not a race to the finish line, Louise wrote.
“Everyone has a part to play and every part relies upon those who come before and affects those who come after,” she wrote.