ICD-10 progress slows among small practices

September 30, 2014

A recent survey shows that many organizations are not taking full advantage of the additional preparation time.

Small medical practices have slowed in their preparation for implementing the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision (ICD-10), according to a recent survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).

Originally scheduled to launch this year, the switch to the ICD-10 code set was delayed earlier this year until October 1, 2015. But it seems the extra time has allowed many providers to delay their preparation efforts.

READ: 9 keys to ensure your practice is ready for ICD-10

The survey found that only about half of providers have conducted impact assessments, which is consistent with what was reported in the 2013 WEDI survey. While four-fifths of large practice providers have completed assessments, about 75% of smaller practice providers said they do not know when they plan to complete an assessment or that it has been delayed until 2015.  

About one-third of providers reported that they have begun external testing, while more than 50% said they plan to wait until 2015 or do not know when they will conduct testing. 

READ: CMS announces ICD-10 testing weeks

Only one-eighth of providers reported that the delay in implementing ICD-10 did not impact their preparation timeline.

In a letter sent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell along with the survey results, WEDI Chair Jim Daley says this lack of preparation is cause for concern because it will leave little time for remediation and testing.

“It appears the delay has negatively impacted provider progress, causing two-thirds of provider respondents to slow down efforts or place them on hold,” said Daley in the letter. “While the delay provides more time for the transition to ICD-10, many organizations are not taking full advantage of this additional time.”

The WEDI survey had 514 respondents, which included 324 providers, 87 vendors, and 103 health plans.