Industry’s Efforts to Meet ICD-10 Deadline Could Fall Short

The most recent survey on ICD-10 readiness from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) shows that the industry is falling even further behind in its quest to meet the pending October 1, 2014 deadline to transition to the new code set.

“Based on the survey results, all industry segments appear to have made some progress since February 2013, but have not gained sufficient ground to remove concern over meeting the Oct. 1, 2014 compliance deadline,” says WEDI Chairman Jim Daley. “Unless all segments move quickly forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2014.”

Survey results, based on responses received in October of 2013 from 196 providers, 58 vendors and 98 health insurers show that:

• About one-half of the provider respondents have completed their impact assessment, up from one-sixth in the February 2013 survey.

• Although the  number of providers that responded ‘unknown’ to when they would complete their impact assessment, business changes and begin external testing is down significantly from the February 2013 survey, responses indicate the majority will not complete these steps until 2014.

• About one-tenth of providers expect to begin external testing in 2013 and one-half expect to begin in the first half of 2014.

• About two-thirds of health plans have started or expect to start internal testing by the end of this year, down slightly from the three-quarters that expected to do so in the February results.

• About one-third of health plans have already begun or expect to begin external testing by the end of this year, down from one-half in the February 2013 survey. About three-fifths expect to begin in the first half of 2014.  

• Most health plans expect to test with a sample of providers while about one-fifth indicated they will test with a majority of providers.   The majority of providers indicate they plan to test with a sample of health plans or only with clearinghouses, but almost one-quarter plan to test with the majority of their payers.   
Although some progress is being made, the industry is far behind the milestones suggested in the WEDI/NCHICA timeline.  What’s more, the industry as a whole has slipped further behind when compared to the February 2013 survey results.  Factors that contribute to this slow progress include the change in compliance date, competing internal priorities and other regulatory mandates.