Survey shows uncertain future for ICD-10

'Providers are focused on the tough parts of this transition.'

Despite the one-year delay in ICD-10 compliance, many healthcare providers still do not understand the value of the new medical diagnostic codes that will be used beginning Oct. 1, 2014, according to a new survey from eHealth Initiative.
 
The survey, conducted in partnership with the American Health Information Management Association, reveals a lack of communication around the benefits and value of the new ICD-10 code set, which was expanded to improve the quality of care, research and surveillance with more accurate and specific data. 
 
"Many providers are focused on the tough parts of this transition. They believe they are going to lose money and that it will negatively impact workflow," said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, chief executive officer of the eHealth Initiative, in a news release. "This new system should ultimately help us better measure patient care. But, until we get over the implementation hump, it will be hard for some to see the forest through the trees and see the real value."
 
[See also: There's money to be had helping doctors transition to ICD-10.]
 
The vast majority of respondents expect to encounter a wide range of barriers to ICD-10 implementation within the first six months of the compliance deadline, which will prevent them from fully realizing the potential benefits and improvements.
 
According to eHealth researchers, the survey was conducted in May and June of 2013, and was comprised of a variety of questions that examined the perceived effects, benefits, challenges, and opportunities presented by the implementation of ICD-10. 
 
Some key results from the survey of 281 hospital executives, chief information officers, physicians and others include:
 
  • One in four survey respondents (26 percent) reported that they had no specific goals to leverage ICD-10 other than for claims processing.
  • Approximately 59 percent of clinic and physician practices expect a significant decline in revenue, while one in four hospitals are unsure of the financial impact.
  • Many respondents identified the potential benefits of moving to the new ICD-10 code, including: quality improvement (51 percent), outcome measurement (40 percent), and performance measurement (39 percent).
  • Only 16 percent of respondents expect higher revenue after ICD-10 implementation.
  • The most significant barriers to ICD-10 implementation that were reported include: staffing and training; workflow and productivity; lack of knowledge; and cost of software upgrade.
The one-year delay of ICD-10 compliance was implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide healthcare providers with additional time to prepare their organizations, train their staff and test and upgrade their systems.