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Majority of U.S. providers ready to meet ICD-10 deadline

The decision to delay the ICD-10 deadline may prove advantageous for U.S. providers. Just over half of providers (51%) said they already have the proper resources and technology in place and are ready for the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline. The remainder are going to use outsourced technology and clinical documentation improvement programs, rather than rely solely on internal IT resources and staff training. Fewer than a quarter of hospitals currently outsource clinical documentation audits, a number that is expected to rise to 71% by the third quarter of 2015, according to a survey of 650 hospital technology and physician leaders done by Black Book Rankings.

Black Book isn’t alone in attempting to quantify where providers stand in their race to the ICD-10 deadline. The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) released an ICD-10 readiness survey, seeking responses from providers, health plans, vendors and clearinghouses. Respondents have until Aug. 21 to complete the survey. “Since 2009 WEDI has been conducting these surveys, allowing us to gain a broad perspective on the readiness status for different sections of the industry, and to gauge how quickly they are progressing,” said Jim Daley, WEDI chairman and ICD-10 Workgroup co-chair, in a WEDI release.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently finalized next October as the compliance date for healthcare providers and health plans to transition to ICD-10. CMS’ official news release states the deadline gives providers, insurance companies  and the rest of the industry time to ensure their systems and business processes  are adjusted to work with ICD-10 codes.

The decision to delay ICD-10 until 2015 could be among the first of the obstacles facing implementation of the coding set.  Two U.S. senators and four representatives sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, asking her for “additional information and ongoing communication” as the compliance date gets closer. The letter pointed out that CMS expressed confidence that providers would be prepared to meet the previous Oct.1, 2014 deadline.

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