WEDI: Smooth Transition to ICD-10; Industry Now Focused on Other Initiatives

WEDI released the results of its final ICD-10 assessment survey earlier this month saying it was a “non-eventful transition” and because it went so well it should be considered a template for future mandates.  

"We wanted this post-implementation survey to be a closing chapter of assessment on why the transition went so well overall and to also leverage specific lessons learned for future large implementations," Jean Narcisi, chair of WEDI, says in the announcement.

Some key observations from the results include:

  • Impact of delays: While the changes to the compliance date added cost for many organizations and caused a lack of momentum, all sectors also indicated that the delays improved the ability to perform testing and resulted in a smoother transition.
  • Cost: Vendor and health plan respondents indicated that the cost of implementation was on target with expectations or was more than anticipated. While the majority of provider responses also indicated that costs were in line with expectations or higher, many providers responded that costs were less than expected.
  • Return on investment (ROI): The majority of respondents indicated that they did not expect to realize any ROI with the conversion to ICD-10.
  • Productivity: The impact to productivity was primarily neutral for vendors and health plans, but there was a slight decrease in productivity for providers.
  • Information sources: All respondents indicated that CMS and WEDI resources were very helpful along with coding materials from industry organizations.

Key lessons that emerged from the study included the value of starting early, communicating with trading partners and conducting extensive testing.

"The willingness of the industry to work together was a major factor in the success of the ICD-10 transition," the letter stated. "The value of testing both internally and externally was reflected in responses to this survey and in actual production results."

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