Skip to content Skip to navigation

MGMA Survey Finds Physician Groups Lagging Woefully on ICD-10 Transition Preparation

June 13, 2013
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
Physician leaders surveyed cite a lack of communication and critical coordination between medical groups and their business transaction partners

Research released on June 13 by the Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) suggests that overall readiness of healthcare providers to meet the Oct. 1, 2014 compliance date for the transition from the ICD-9 coding system to the ICD-10 system continues to lag. The greatest concern, when it comes to physician groups, the research found, is the lack of communication and critical coordination between physician practices and their essential trading partners, including claims clearinghouses, electronic health record (EHR) vendors and practice management system vendors, regarding software updates and testing, which has not yet occurred. As MGMA found, only 4.8 percent of medical practices reported that they have made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation, based on responses to a survey of 1,200 medical groups representing 55,000 practicing physicians.

Accompanying the release of the survey-based research results was a statement by Susan L. Turney, M.D., MGMA’s president and CEO. “The transition to ICD-10, with its substantial impact on documentation of clinical care, physician productivity and practice reimbursement, is unprecedented,” Dr. Turney said. “It is proving to be one of the most complex and expensive changes our healthcare system has faced in decades.” In her statement, Turney added that the fact that physician groups are having to manage several other sets of changes at once, including the meaningful use process under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and the state health insurance exchange provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), compounds the challenges of the ICD-10 transition for doctors.

Among the biggest obstacles faced by medical groups in making the transition to ICD-10, the MGMA research found, were the lack of response from vendors; lags in internal software testing; delays in external testing; low confidence in a successful transition; concern about changes to clinical documentation; absorbing the costs of the transition.

These research findings from MGMA regarding physician preparation for ICD-10 follow shortly on the heels of an analysis by the Chicago-based American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) of hospital organization preparation for ICD-10. The AHIMA analysis, released at the beginning of June, found that, as of fall 2012, more than 50 percent of hospitals remained in the beginning stages of moving forward on ICD-10 transition preparation.



Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.