Healthcare News & Insights

Providers still struggling to meet ICD-10 deadline

With the deadline now less than two years away, healthcare organizations are struggling to move to ICD-10 codes, and many are reassessing their transition strategies, according to a new report. 

Previously, the deadline to transition to the new ICD-10 code set was October of this year, but groups such as the American Medical Association were successful in convincing the feds to push the ICD-10 deadline back to October 2014.

But despite having more time to get ready, healthcare organizations are still concerned about being able to meet the deadline. In fact, nearly all healthcare professionals (94%) have worries about the impact the ICD-10 transition could have on their practices, according to a recent survey from Nuesoft Technologies. That includes 60% of the 480 physicians, administrators, office managers and billers surveyed who are “significantly” or “highly” concerned.

The biggest challenge providers are facing in getting ready for the ICD-10 deadline: finding and keeping the right qualified and trained staff to handle the transition, according to a new report, “HIM Services 2012: Helping to Weather the Storm,” from KLAS.

In response, many organizations are turning to third-party service providers to outsource duties such as transcription, coding and scanning. According to KLAS’s evaluation of those providers, Precyse and TransTech received the highest satisfaction ratings from customers, while larger firms Nuance and M*Modal offer a wider range of services and dominate the market share.

Some other steps experts recommend providers take to get on pace to meet the ICD-10 deadline:

  • Train coders to use the new set, and consider hiring more coders or use overtime scheduling to limit the damage when productivity dips initially.
  • Review written procedures, forms, payer contracts, and any other documents that may need to be updated to reflect the switch to ICD-10.
  • Check with software vendors to find out if systems will be able to accommodate ICD-10 and if there is anything the provider must do to make necessary upgrades.

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