WEDI makes 4 ICD-10 recommendations to HHS

"Without aggressive effort in the time remaining ... lack of readiness may lead to disruption in claims processing."
By Tom Sullivan
10:57 AM
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HHS

With the calendar counting down toward Oct. 1, 2015, the Workgroup for Data Interchange on Monday circulated its latest readiness survey results, and, though the findings were positive among large health systems, some concern remains.

The upshot: 90 percent of hospitals, 75 percent of health plans have begun or completed external testing, and 75 percent of IT vendors have fully completed product development. Bad news: Fewer than half of medical practices responded that they are would be ready for the switch.

"In light of our most recent findings, we are hopeful that industry leaders take the necessary steps to help ensure that the transition to ICD-10 is completed with minimal disruption to the healthcare industry," WEDI Chair Jean P. Narcisi said in a statement.

To that end, WEDI sent a letter to Health and Human Services making four recommendations.

1. HHS should expeditiously provide full transparency regarding the readiness of individual Medicaid agencies by state.

2. The recently-announced Ombudsman position should be appointed as soon as possible, and WEDI strongly urges CMS to not wait until the compliance deadline to complete this appointment.

3. The go-live ICD-10 support plan should include leveraging WEDI's and CMS' implementation support program, which already serves as the central source for collecting ICD-10 industry issues and solutions.

4. Additional outreach is needed in order to help providers with complying with most recent local coverage determination codes.

Whereas all participating vendors and payers indicated that they will be ready by Oct. 1, 2105, the 10 percent of hospitals and large chunk of practices that are still unsure could be problematic.

"Without a dedicated and aggressive effort to complete implementation activities in the time remaining," said Jim Daley, WEDI past-chair and ICD-10 Workgroup co-chair, "this lack of readiness may lead to disruption in claims processing."