WEDI recently updated its survey on ICD-10 preparation on the part of providers, software and service vendors and payors. The results point to some progress has been made especially on the part of payors but that there is still a sluggish response on the part of many vendors and providers perhaps lulled into a potentially false hope of another delay.
Some items of note include the following:
Participants: Participation in this latest survey included 1174 respondents consisting of 796 providers, 173 vendors and 205 health plans. This is a significant increase from the 2014 WEDI survey that had 514 respondents (consisting of 324 providers, 87 vendors and 103 health plans).
Compliance date uncertainty: Uncertainty around further delays was listed as a primary obstacle to implementation, appearing on over one-half of all responses for vendors, health plans and providers.
Vendor product development: All respondents have at least started this step and about seven- eighths were at least halfway complete. Over one third are complete and two-fifths are at least three-quarters complete. These numbers are similar to the August 2014 survey, suggesting only modest progress has been achieved with the additional year.
Vendor product availability: About three-fifths indicated their vendor products were available or they had started customer testing. The number that responded ‘unknown’ decreased from one eighth to just a handful.
Health plan impact assessments: About four-fifths of health plans had completed their impact assessment, up from about three-quarters in the August 2014 survey and one-eighth were nearly complete. Only four respondents were less than halfway complete. This shows continued progress, although all should have been complete by this point.
Health plan testing: Over one-half of health plans have begun external testing and of these, a few have completed testing. This is a slight improvement from the prior survey. About two- fifths expected to begin external testing in the first or second quarter of 2015, but a few did not expect to begin until the third quarter. In the August 2014 survey just over one quarter did not expect to begin external testing until 2015. This reflects a shift toward a later start for external testing for some organizations.
Provider impact assessments: Just over one-third of providers responded that they had completed their impact assessment. This is a decrease from the August 2014 survey were slightly over one-half indicated they had completed their assessment. Slightly over one-quarter responded ‘unknown’, the same as in the prior survey. Further analysis shows that over three- fifths of hospitals/health systems have completed assessments, while less than one-fifth of physician practices have done this.
Provider testing: Just one quarter of provider respondents had begun external testing and only a few others had completed this step. Over one-quarter responded that they do not expect to begin external testing until the second or third quarter of 2015 and, disconcertedly, over one-third responded ‘unknown.’ Further analysis shows that just over one-half of hospitals/health systems had started external testing and a few report having completed this testing. Just one-tenth of physician practices had started external testing.
It appears clear that while the delay provided more time for the transition to ICD-10, many organizations did not take full advantage of this additional time. This puts many providers at significant risk for a negative impact on their cash flow and revenue cycle. If practices are not working with vendors who have begun testing, they should be asking questions and make sure that they are comfortable with the answers.