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Readers Write: ICD-10 Readiness – What Do Your Colleagues Think? (And What Are They Doing?)

March 9, 2015 News No Comments

ICD-10 Readiness: What Do Your Colleagues Think? (And What Are They Doing?)
by Jim Denny


Here’s a quick survey for all the HIStalk readers out there: Which of the following is the most common occurrence?

  1. An ant in an anthill
  2. A mullet (hairstyle, not fish) at an Eagles concert
  3. An ICD-10 article on a healthcare technology website

I should probably add option (d) all of the above, since each is pretty common. Just as you’d expect to see an ant or several hundred when you brush up against an anthill, I’m sure you’ve brushed up against quite a few ICD-10 how-to articles in recent months. I’m not mocking these articles – as a matter of fact, Navicure is responsible for many of them, so why would I? But, I’m sure some of you are tempted to skip over this piece simply due to its title. After all, what could I possibly say that hasn’t been said?

Keep reading — it will give you a sense of what your colleagues across the nation have accomplished (and are concerned about accomplishing) to prepare for ICD-10, and how they feel about the impending transition date. Between 2013 and 2015, Navicure conducted three surveys with physician practices as participants to obtain insight into their leaderships’ plans, attitudes, and progress related to ICD-10. Most recently, we released key findings from the 2015 survey. Here are a few of note:

  • The state of ICD-10 preparedness varies widely, but practice leaders are very optimistic they’ll be ready by the transition date. In Navicure’s most recent survey, only 21 percent of respondents believed they were on track with their ICD-10 plan. Even so, 81 percent were confident they’d be ready by October 1, 2015. This level of optimism is great; a doomsday attitude can’t be conducive for learning and preparing. On the other hand, the optimism shouldn’t be at the expense of detailed orientation and thorough planning. If your organization hasn’t kept up with its original ICD-10 plan, it’s a good time to make adjustments and come up with something your team can truly accomplish in the months remaining.
  • The ICD-10 delay impacted practices positively and negatively. Not surprisingly, nearly 60 percent of practices “pressed pause” on their ICD-10 implementation efforts when CMS announced the delay in 2014. Between Meaningful Use, value-based reimbursements and other strategic priorities, this extra year has been a gift. In the final stretch, though, it’s important to regain any lost momentum and keep your organization on task. A plan that builds on weekly progress across key components such as vendor updates, coding, and clinical documentation will keep your organization on track.
  • Physician practice leaders don’t think ICD-10 will be delayed again. Slightly more than two-thirds of respondents believe the transition date will take place on October 1, 2015 as planned.
  • Most recently, respondents believe the biggest challenge they’ll face is dealing with unprepared payers. In the January 2015 survey, 41 percent of respondents cited lack of payer readiness as the most challenging aspect of the transition. End-to-end testing with payers remains a priority, but the number of practices opting out has increased. In the two earlier surveys, respondents cited training as their greatest challenge.
  • The greatest concern amongst practice leaders is how ICD-10 will impact revenue and cash flow. The overwhelming majority of respondents in all three surveys cited revenue and cash flow as their top ICD-10 concern. This isn’t surprising, since every facet of ICD-10 preparedness – from training to vendor updates – can impact cash flow. Having a contingency plan – for instance, establishing a line of credit with a bank – can give you peace of mind and ensure your practice operates smoothly during the initial weeks of the transition.

Want to learn more about what your colleagues think about ICD-10? Download the complete report. And please take advantage of those thousands of how-to resources available across the industry so you can be ready for October 1, 2015.

Jim Denny is president and CEO of Navicure in Atlanta.


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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