ICD-10: Most providers have a long way to go to meet transition deadline
Two years may seem like a long time to get ready, but a recent study shows many healthcare providers have already fallen behind in the road to prepare for the transition to ICD-10 codes.
Less than 10% of healthcare providers report being halfway there in terms of getting ready for ICD-10, according to a recent report from research firm KLAS caleld “ICD-10: Preparing for October 2013.” Most organizations surveyed are still in the strategy and planning phase of the transition.
The new ICD-10 coding system goes into effect almost two years from now, officially replacing the 30-year-old ICD-9 codes on October 1, 2013. But providers could be in for a tough road ahead, as organizations studied in the report that have already made the transition say that the move was very complex and expensive, requiring a significant amount of time and resources.
One provider representative interviewed even went so far as to say, “Meaningful use is a cakewalk compared to ICD-10.”
In response to the expected difficulty of the ICD-10 implementation, nearly two-thirds of providers said they’ll use help from third-party firms to plan their strategies, train staff, and complete other necessary steps.
In addition to trouble with their own preparation, 60% of providers also expressed concerns with vendors’ ability to get ready for ICD-10 codes. Organizations must make sure any medical billing services, practice management software, electronic health record systems, and any other products or services they use are also ready to meet the ICD-10 deadline.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends healthcare providers begin talking with vendors about the ICD-10 transition.
Organizations should identify any part of their processes that currently use ICD-9 codes and contact the applicable vendor. It’s likely that wherever ICD-9 codes are currently used, ICD-10 codes will replace them.
According to the CMS, organizations should ask vendors about points such as:
- What upgrades or replacements will be required
- What costs will be involved and whether upgrades will be covered by existing contracts
- When upgrades or replacement software will be available to test and implement
- What training and support will be provided, and
- How products and services will be able to accommodate both ICD-10 and ICD-9 codes during the transition period.
- Providers still struggling to meet ICD-10 deadline
- Providers turning to health IT tools to meet ICD-10 deadline
- Practices worried about looming ICD-10 transition, survey says
- Despite delay, providers warned not to pause ICD-10 transition
- 5 ICD-10 tasks providers should have finished by now
Below are a few free resources you may find useful.