While vendors and health plans continue to make progress in their readiness for the switch to the ICD-10 coding system, providers continue to advance slowly, according to a new survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).
About 50 percent of the providers surveyed indicated they have completed their impact assessment—essentially the same number as in WEDI’s October 2013 survey. And about 35 percent of providers have begun external testing, while in the October 2013 survey about 60 percent had expected to begin by the middle of 2014.
The latest survey results are based on responses from 514 respondents, consisting of 324 providers, 87 vendors and 103 health plans.
In a Sept. 24 letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, WEDI provided results of its ICD-10 survey, noting that the one-year delay has negatively impacted provider progress, causing two-thirds of provider respondents to slow down efforts or place them on hold. While the delay provides more time for the transition to ICD-10, many organizations are not taking full advantage of this additional time, the letter stated. “Unless all industry segments make a dedicated effort to continue to move forward with their implementation efforts, there will be significant disruption on Oct 1, 2015,” it said.
Meanwhile, in regards to vendors and health plans, the survey results were more promising. The results showed that:
- About 40 percent of vendors indicated they are complete with product development, an improvement from 2013 survey results.
- About two-thirds now have their products available, roughly twice as many as in the October 2013 survey,
- Nearly 75 percent of health plans had completed their impact assessment
- More than 50 percent of health plans have already begun external testing compared to less than 25 percent in the prior survey
“Based on the survey results, all industry segments appear to have made some progress since October 2013, but the lack of progress by providers, in particular smaller ones, remains a cause for concern as we move toward the compliance deadline,” Jim Daley, WEDI chairman and ICD-10 Workgroup co-chair, said in a statement accompanying the survey results. “Delaying compliance efforts reduces the time available for adequate testing, increasing the chances of unanticipated impacts to production. We urge the industry to accelerate implementation efforts in order to avoid disruption on Oct. 1, 2015.”