News Feature | March 10, 2015

ICD-10 Preparedness Disconnect Found

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Steps You Can Take To Help Your Healthcare IT Clients Prepare For ICD-10

While 82% of providers polled express optimism about October’s transition, only 21% believe they are on track for it.

A Navicure survey has discovered a curious disconnect regarding ICD-10 preparedness. While 82 percent of respondents reported being optimistic about their readiness for the transition scheduled for October 1, 2015, only 21 percent believe their practices are currently on track to actually meet the deadline.

This survey – a follow up to similar surveys conducted in April and November of 2013 – focused on physician practice participation and whether or not participants had changed their attitudes, strategies, and work plans in regards to the ICD-10 transition. It surveyed 350 physician practice administrators, billing managers, billers, and coders from a broad range of specialties and sizes.

Among the reason some practices see themselves as derailed was that 58 percent of them “pressed pause” on their readiness efforts when the deadline was extended last year. Of those surveyed, only 23 percent continued their preparation efforts, while the remainder had not started or were unaware of their preparedness status.

The survey also found two thirds of those polled are confident that the October 1 deadline will be final, and three-fifths have cash flow concerns surrounding the transition. Other worries include that the deadline will change yet again (11 percent); the clearinghouse won’t be able to process claims (4 percent); staff will not be properly trained (10 percent); information systems will be unprepared (5 percent); and the transition’s impact on staff and productivity (12 percent).

Beyond the preparedness concerns of practices is the worry that insurance carriers are not adequately ready for the transition, with 41 percent reporting this as their biggest challenge.

For those practices that have not yet started the preparation for ICD-10, reasons included waiting on software updates (25 percent); the belief that implementation will be swift (15 percent); the belief that ICD-10 won’t have a large impact (2 percent); a lack of time and/or resources (29 percent); the belief that the deadline will change again (15 percent); and a lack of knowledge about where to begin with implementation (13 percent).

When it comes to budgeting, the survey found almost a third (29 percent) of those polled have not yet budgeted for the ICD-10 transition, while 18 percent budgeted between $10,000 and $50,000. Six percent budgeted $50,000 to $100,000 and six percent reported budgets between $100,000 and $200,000. A full 41 percent had no idea what the ICD-10 budget for their practice was.

“Since 2013, Navicure has been conducting ICD-10 readiness surveys, which have allowed us to gain broad perspective on how we can best help healthcare organizations prepare for the transition,” said Jim Denny, founder and CEO of Navicure. “We remain committed to providing ICD-10 education and training resources for both clients and prospective clients, and we are eager to help them through a successful transition so they can maintain healthy revenue cycles and efficient workflows.”