Pros and Cons of ICD-10 Implementation Delay

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The extended deadline for ICD-10 implementation has drawn mixed responses from healthcare providers. The article looks at the Pros and Cons of ICD-10 delay.

The extended deadline for ICD-10 implementation has drawn mixed responses from healthcare providers. The article looks at the Pros and Cons of ICD-10 delay.

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  • 1. http://www.outsourcestrategies.com/ 1-800-670-2809 Pros and Cons of ICD-10 Implementation Delay The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) decision to extend the proposed date for ICD –10 implementation till October 14, 2015 has generated mixed responses of relief and frustration from healthcare industry professionals. HHS cites certain valid reasons for the delay. Large healthcare organizations, hospitals and other medical practices that had actually invested a significant amount of time, effort and resources for the ICD –10 transition are quite annoyed with this new deadline. On the other hand, small medical practices that were not fully equipped for this transition are breathing a sigh of relief. The implementation of ICD-10 codes this year would have resulted in many medical records and claims having inappropriate codes and inaccurate medical documentation. Moreover, there are many healthcare organizations that had not performed sufficient testing to evaluate whether the new coding system would fetch them those benefits as anticipated. Hence, this delay would give them additional time to test and alter their processes.
  • 2. http://www.outsourcestrategies.com/ 1-800-670-2809 Certainly, the transition to ICD-10 medical coding system is advantageous from the clinical point of view as well as from the point of view of reimbursement. While ICD- 9 involves lesser number of codes and provides limited patient care information, ICD – 10 has more specific codes and the ability to grow with the medical industry. ICD-10 Deadline Extension – Points in Favor ICD-10 implementation can prove to be a costly investment for any organization. The changes and specificity in codes involved in ICD-10 has a significant role in identifying diseases. This will also enable experienced coders to become familiar with several new codes. Below mentioned are some benefits of ICD-10 delay – • Learn more about ICD-10 codes - The proposed delay will provide an opportunity for healthcare providers and their staff to learn and gather more specific information about the new code set. The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes will require more time for providers to become fully proficient in the same. This will also help to improve clinical documentation and data integrity.
  • 3. http://www.outsourcestrategies.com/ 1-800-670-2809 • More time for training – Those healthcare providers who have not yet started or completed their ICD-10 training or updating their billing and EHR processes, will get additional time to continue their training process and to adapt to the new insurance coding process. • CMS end-to-end testing – Prior to the announcement of ICD-10 coding extension, CMS was planning to conduct an end-to- end testing on the new code sets till August before going live on October 1, 2014. With the new deadline, there will be more time and opportunity for healthcare providers to get ready for CMS testing to evaluate the benefits of the same. Moreover, the testing can be more systematic and precise ensuring success for the future October 2015 deadline. • Extra time for financial preparations – The ICD-10 medical coding system involves increased complexity, specificity and volume of codes that will significantly impact the total revenue of a medical practice. The extended deadline will provide healthcare providers extra time for financial preparations.
  • 4. http://www.outsourcestrategies.com/ 1-800-670-2809 Cons to the ICD-10 Extension • Transition momentum will vanish – With one more year for ICD-10 (International Classification of diseases) implementation, many healthcare providers may lose transition momentum and may not use the extra time in the best possible manner. • Continued use of outdated ICD-9 codes – The new deadline will require healthcare providers to continue the usage of ICD -9 codes itself. • Additional training cost – Healthcare practices that are ready for ICD-10 implementation will face a significant financial impact. These providers might have already invested enough time and resources in upgrading their systems and training workers to prepare for the ICD-10 transition. A further delay will mean real loss of valuable time and money. Experts in the healthcare industry believe that stalling the ICD-10 preparations will not do any good to medical practices. Rather, they should continue with their ICD-10 education plans and training initiatives. They need to take a careful look at where they stand (in terms of
  • 5. http://www.outsourcestrategies.com/ 1-800-670-2809 preparation and training) and then recalibrate. With the new timeline, practices can decide how to spread their resources over a bigger amount of time.