The House of Representatives passed a one-year extension for ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural code implementation. This will move on to the senate along with a one-year fix for Medicare’s sustainable growth-rate formula, which impacts physician payments and has been unpopular with those affected.Senate

This is all at a time when healthcare providers have been investing in the ramp up to ICD-10. Costs in system upgrades, testing and staff training have already been incurred, some of which may not be recouped if the deadline is changed. This is on top of the fact that some of these same providers went through this experience last year when the 2013 ICD-10 implementation deadline was delayed. So, when is it wise to be a “wait and see” administrator in these uncertain times?

ICD-10 planned was on the top of the list for many practice administrators. This was evident from a survey of executive opinions from Modern Healthcare.

  • 8% ICD-10 preparation is complete
  • 57% prepration in progress for ICD-10
  • 19% start preparations within 12 months
  • 11% not started
  • 5% not even considered

The survey also reported the executive expectations of ICD-10 readiness:

  • 36% highly confident
  • 40% somewhat confident
  • 12% unsure
  • 8% somewhat pessimistic
  • 4% highly pessimistic

What is perhaps most disconcerting is that just last month the head of CMS, Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, was widely reported declaring that ICD-10 implementation of October 1st was non-negotiable and the agency would hold firm. The announcement was made at a health information technology conference in Florida. Needless to say, a change in the deadline mandated by congress will have not only financial but longer term trust issue with the industry leaders.

What is your practice preparation and readiness level for ICD-10? Take ORI’s to get a second opinion from the billing perspective.

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