Providers Report Slow ICD-10 Progress

Recent research shows that healthcare providers are lagging behind in their efforts to meet the Oct. 1, 2014, compliance date to adopt the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). But it doesn’t look like the federal government is going to provide any additional time to get the job done.

According to a study conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Englewood, Colo., only 4.8 percent of medical practices reported that they have made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation. The more than 1,200 medical group professionals who participated in the study indicated that a lack of communication from technology vendors is holding them back. More than 52 percent of respondents indicated they had not heard from their practice management system vendor and almost 50 percent had not yet heard from their EHR vendor.

 “The transition to ICD-10, with its substantial impact on documentation of clinical care, physician productivity and practice reimbursement, is unprecedented,” stated Susan L. Turney, MD, MGMA president and CEO. “It is proving to be one of the most complex and expensive changes our healthcare system has faced in decades. Adding to the implementation challenge and clearly taxing all stakeholders, ICD-10 will arrive at the same time that a number of other transformative federal policies go into effect, such as health insurance exchanges and Stage 2 of the CMS Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program.”

However, in an interview with Healthcare IT News, Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national coordinator for healthcare IT, suggested that there could be some potential “synergy” between Meaningful Use and ICD-10 efforts.

“Frankly, I don’t see ICD-10 as disrupting progress toward meaningful use,” he said, pointing out that if an organization has a meaningful use certified EHR and clinical documentation, then it will be easier to transition to ICD-10.

Indeed, the federal government is holding firm to the October 2014 ICD-10 deadline. While delivering the keynote address at the HIMSS Media ICD-10 Forum in National Harbor, Md., on June 17, Mostashari emphasized that the government would not grant any additional extensions.