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Report Says Few Prepared for ICD-10 Conversion

October 25, 2011
by root
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Less than ten percent of healthcare providers are over halfway there in terms of being fully prepared for ICD-10, according to a report from Orem, Utah-based research firm KLAS. The report, ICD-10: Preparing for October 2013, says that while providers know a lack of preparation could result in a halt to reimbursements and a revenue cycle disaster when ICD-10 comes, most organizations are still in the strategy/planning phase of their preparation.

This is significant given that providers further down the path of preparation told KLAS that ICD-10 readiness is a complex and costly initiative-one that will require significant time and resources. One patient accounting director said to KLAS, "We know there is a lot of work to be done. In our opinion, meaningful use is a cakewalk compared to ICD-10."

This research found that many providers have not yet established an ICD-10 budget. That said, feedback from more progressive organizations indicate ICD-10 won't be cheap. Some large health systems are planning to spend tens of millions of dollars on their ICD-10 preparation, while some mid-size hospitals are planning to spend several million.

Some of the internal steps these providers have taken are developing a steering committee; creating a comprehensive ICD-10 readiness strategy; developing training plans for coders, physicians, nurses and other staff; assessing compliance and technology needs; and formulating a detailed budget.

Nearly two-thirds of providers in this study are engaging or planning to engage with third party firms to assist with one or more of these preparation steps. The report found that the majority of these providers currently engaging with firms do so for strategy and gap-analysis work; whereas, most providers planning to use a third-party firm in the future say they will do so for training their staff. Many providers are rushing to engage with firms, as demand for them is increasing.

ICD-10: Preparing for October 2013 also explored providers' greatest concerns regarding ICD-10, with internal organizational readiness-namely staff training and physician/nurse readiness-topping the list. It also found that 60 percent of providers were concerned about the ICD-10 readiness of their core clinical/financial vendor. Nearly half of those interviewed said they felt their coding vendor was their most progressive vendor in helping them prepare for ICD-10 readiness.

For this research KLAS interviewed 163 providers to understand their ICD-10 readiness strategy, major concerns, progress in preparing, confidence in their core and component vendors' ICD-10 readiness, and intentions for using third-party firms to assist them.

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