ICD-10-tative: Who’s Glad, Who’s Sad, and Next Steps Part 2

The impending ICD-10 delay comes as a surprise and frustration to the majority of providers given the following February 27, 2014, statement by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner:“We have already delayed the adoption standard, a standard the rest of the world has adopted many years ago, and we have delayed it several times, most recently last year. There will be no change in the deadline for ICD-10.”

Who Is Frustrated?

Healthcare Providers Feeling Prepared:Among the many providers who expressed disappointment to KLAS were two who said the following:

“As a leadership team, we decided to hire the added support that we would need instead of contracting it out. This has put us in a big bind, because now we have ramped up too early.”

“I am very disappointed by the ICD-10 delay. At my facility, we increased the amount of coding staff, spent money on AHIMA memberships, and personalized training for them, and next week we have a week-long coder boot camp that cost us $25,000. This does not take into account the effort the IT staff has put in for the past year or two to prepare.” – HIM Director

Well-Prepared Core Vendors: Ed Park, EVP and COO of athenahealth, said, “The moving goal line is a significant distraction to providers and inappropriately invokes massive additional investments of time and money for all.”

New Medical Coders: AHIMA gave the following statement on March 28: “A delay in ICD-10 impacts more than 25,000 students in health information management (HIM) associate and baccalaureate educational programs, many of whom have learned to code exclusively in ICD-10. These students will not have the ability to code in ICD-9, which will make it difficult for them to find employment, pay back student loans, and become certified. In the bigger picture, it is a further blow to a healthcare system already struggling to fill positions with qualified personnel as the demand for quality healthcare data increases.”

CHIME: Russell Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, had this to say: “The House vote . . . to extend the deadline for implementing ICD-10 by one year is a real disappointment to CHIME members, who have long prepared for ICD-10, installing new systems, training staff, and otherwise making the needed changes that will affect patient care.”

Next Steps: Stay the Course, Regroup (or ICD-11?)

Providers’ initial reactions are to not make any drastic changes in their strategy but to strengthen/optimize their existing technology and clinical documentation programs, finish implementations, or adjust/bolster staff and coder training. One provider said, “I think we need to regroup and determine our next steps. I think it is as simple as developing a new work plan. We will use the extra time to train, test, and further analyze the financial impact.”

The delay now puts the ICD-10 deadline within only two years of ICD-11, which is slated to be released in 2017. Given skepticism about whether any deadline CMS makes will stick, providers are asking in increasing numbers whether at this point the country should just go straight to ICD-11.

Providers who need third-party assistance for additional ICD-10 assessments/road maps, implementation/PMO resources, on-site training, eLearning, and application testing may find value in KLAS’s recently published ICD-10 consulting services report, which they can get a complimentary copy of by emailing @klasresearch.com.

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