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    ICD-10 delay will cost practices more money, survey says

    More than half will reset ICD-10 implementation timelines

    Prior to the recent International Classification of Diseases-10th revision (ICD-10) delay, many medical practices were well on their way to implementing the coding system and training their staff, according to a white paper by Part B News that surveyed almost 1,100 respondents on the impact of the ICD-10 delay.

    More than 60% say that their practices had identified resources, created a project plan, and contacted vendors based off of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) timeline for preparing for ICD-10. More than 50% were working on training staff on coding and documentation.

    The survey consisted mostly of practice managers and coding specialists who are either in charge of or a part of their organization’s ICD-10 transition teams. More than 35% of the respondents represented independent practices.

    Thirty-one percent of survey respondents said they were disappointed with the ICD-10 delay because they were ready for the new system. Nearly 34% said that though they would have been ready for the October 2014 date, they are okay with the delay and appreciate the additional time. More than 20% of respondents say the delay is frustrating because physicians will want to put off training. Only 13.5% of respondents said they were happy because of the delay because their practice wouldn’t be ready.

    The results of this survey vary drastically from a Medical Group Management Association report released in February that found fewer than 10% of respondents had made significant progress in implementing ICD-10, and 79% had not started or were only somewhat ready.

    The Part B News survey found that many practices expect to spend more on ICD-10 preparations because of the delay due to additional training. So far, solo practices report having spent an average of $7,719 on ICD-10 preparations, with 75% of solo practices spending less than $5,000 on ICD-10 preparations. Practices with more than 100 physicians spent $42,592 on average; about 71% of those practices spent more than $50,000 on ICD-10 preparations.

    Cost was one of the issues that drove the American Medical Association and others to call for an ICD-10 delay earlier this year. The association cited a survey that estimated that small practices could spend between $56,639 and $226,105 to implement ICD-10.

    More than half of respondents say that they will reset the timeline on their current ICD-10 preparations, while more than 22% say they will continue on their current plan. Only 6% say they will create an entirely new plan.

    CMS has yet to offer any guidance regarding the new ICD-10 deadline or any new compliance standards. Two months before the ICD-10 delay, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of CMS said there would be no more ICD-10 delays.

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    • Anonymous
      Like many things, there is no benefit to those doing the extra work. IT, administrators, and policy people support ICD-10 so they can get more data, but they care little whether the extra labor performed by the worker drones.
    • Anonymous
      Has CMS offered any real-world benefits for switching to ICD10? Seems like a waste of resources to bother doing it at all.