One year ago, the healthcare industry was coming to grips with the fact that another delay to ICD-10 was going to happen. This year, with a repeal of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula on the horizon and reports that a provision to delay ICD-10 was actively denied by Congressional leaders, it appears the transition to the updated code-set may actually happen this.
Yet, doctors—many of whom have come out against ICD-10—are not backing down in their distaste for the mandate. They say it’s costly, their payers aren’t prepared, and they haven’t had time to prepare. They’re also not backing down in a belief that the transition should be delayed. Some even say it should be indefinite.
These feelings were outlined extensively in an exclusive survey designed by the editors of Healthcare Informatics, and conducted by QuantiaMD, a Waltham, Mass.-based social network for physicians. QuantiaMD surveyed 181 physicians and found that 62 percent say there should be another delay to ICD-10. Of that 62 percent (114 physicians), more than half (53 percent) are advocating for an indefinite delay to the code-set.
Oddly, the number of physicians who say the transition is necessary is nearly even with those who say it’s not (49.17 percent to 50.83 percent – a difference of three people). Most physicians (68.51 percent) say they are on track for the 2015 deadline and most (35 percent) have someone working full time on it. Despite this, in free form answers to a question asking them what the biggest challenges to complying with ICD-10, physicians were not shy in their criticisms.
Many said pointed to cost, lack of training, and a conflict with other reporting measures. “The need to report all associated modifiers with primary code for billing adds significantly to cost of implementation and training requirements,” one physician wrote.
Others said it was a completely useless transition: “There is just a huge amount of additional meaningless data that will end up being entered, and then used to deny payments to us. Every one of these initiatives is just designed to obstruct our ability to practice medicine,” said one.
Below are the complete results from the QuantiaMD survey:
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