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Healthcare is not ready for ICD-10, WEDI report says


The healthcare market is behind in its preparation for ICD-10, according to a new WEDI survey, and it could result in major payment slowdowns next October. Here’s why.


Significant disruption from a lack of ICD-10 preparedness could result “unless all segments move quickly forward,” warns the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) following a recent survey.

“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 October 1, 2014 compliance deadline,” says Jim Daley, chairman of WEDI.

The survey included responses from 196 providers, 59 vendors and 98 health plans.

Here are some of WEDI’s findings:

  • Only 25% of vendors surveyed say they are complete, and one-fifth of the vendors indicate they are halfway or less than halfway complete with product development.

  • In the February survey, one-half of health plans have started or expect to start external testing by the end of 2013. But in the December survey, that number is down to one-third. About 40% of health plans have not yet completed an impact assessment.

  • The majority of providers said they will not complete impact assessments, business changes or external testing until 2014.  Only about 50% of providers will begin external testing in the first half of next year.

The industry’s lack of preparedness has other organizations expressing concern. Earlier this month, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to conduct end-to-end testing of the complete diagnostic coding system. The letter said that failure to do so would increase the likelihood of “catastrophic cash flow disruption for practices.” 

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health