If you’re feeling less-than-ready for the impending transition to ICD-10—set to blast off in T-minus eight months and counting—you’re definitely not alone. In fact, a recent survey by the New York-based healthcare advisory firm KPMG found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents—including health plans, hospital and health system-affiliated providers, large physician groups, and nurses—predicted that ICD-10 would have a moderate to severe impact on their bottom lines. Furthermore, 67% of survey participants admitted that they had yet to conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing with outside vendors, payers, and software systems.
In this article about the survey, Wayne Cafran, advisory principal in KPMG’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice, estimates that the organizations in question could suffer financial losses of anywhere from $1 million to $15 million. “Healthcare organizations are in for a rude awakening when they finally realize what [impact] the new standards will have on their bottom lines,” Cafran said.
Following the rules of probability, there’s a solid chance your practice falls into one or both of the groups cited in this study. Which begs the question: If so many players in the healthcare arena aren’t adequately prepared for the switch, how can it go forward? That’s the (literally) million-dollar question many medical providers and organizations are posing as they scramble to adjust their processes to accommodate an entirely new—and much more complex—diagnosis coding system.
In fact, the American Medical Association (AMA) has been very active in building a case for another extension to the ICD-10 deadline. As part of that effort, the group asked physicians to complete a ten-question survey about software readiness. The crux of their argument is that many vendors won’t have their ICD-10 upgrades in place until well into 2014, which doesn’t leave much time for providers to adjust to any changes and work out the kinks. According to the article cited above, the AMA has twice been successful in similar lobbying efforts. But don’t get too excited; as this article explains, the chances of another pushback are slim to none. The fact of the matter is that ICD-10 is coming—whether you like it or not.
So, instead of wasting your time wishing for an extension that’ll probably never happen, you’re better off investing your time and energy into crafting a plan to get your ICD-10 preparations back on track. Need help? Check out the resource page on ICD10forPT.com to download an ICD-10 checklist and a step-by-step guide on preparing your practice for the transition.