ICD-10 readiness lagging, says MGMA

Association calls on vendor, clearinghouse and health plan trading partners to improve cooperation

The Medical Group Management Association published research Thursday that suggests overall readiness of the industry to meet the Oct. 1, 2014, ICD-10 compliance deadline continues to be a concern.
MGMA researchers found the greatest concern for physicians is the lack of communication and critical coordination between physician practices and their essential trading partners, including claims clearinghouses, electronic health record vendors and practice management system vendors regarding software updates and testing, which has not yet occurred.
Only 4.8 percent of practices reported that they have made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation. The research includes responses from more than 1,200 medical groups where more than 55,000 physicians practice.  
[See also: Providers look to revenue cycle management to weather sequester, ICD-10.]
“The transition to ICD-10, with its substantial impact on documentation of clinical care, physician productivity and practice reimbursement, is unprecedented,” said MGMA President and CEO Susan L. Turney, MD, in a press release. 
“It is proving to be one of the most complex and expensive changes our healthcare system has faced in decades," she added. "Adding to the implementation challenge and clearly taxing all stakeholders, ICD-10 will arrive at the same time that a number of other transformative federal policies go into effect, such as health insurance exchanges and Stage 2 of the CMS Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program.”
“A successful transition to ICD-10 requires coordination between providers and their vendor, clearinghouse and health plan trading partners. Our data suggest that many practices are in the dark in terms of moving forward with ICD-10 as this coordination has not yet occurred,” said Turney. 

[See also: ICD-10 survey yields cloudy results.]
“Without the necessary software changes and testing, practices will have no confidence that they will be paid for the care they deliver to their patients after Oct. 1, 2014," she said. "In order to prevent disruption to the nation’s healthcare system, we call on vendors, clearinghouses and health plans to immediately release their implementation and testing schedules.”
MGMA's research also found: