Deadline Delay Would Not Improve ICD-10 Readiness, Survey Finds

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About two-thirds of health care professionals said they do not believe a delay in ICD-10 implementation will improve readiness for the new coding standards, according to a survey by Edifecs, Healthcare IT News reports.

Edifecs is a developer of data exchange technologies and tools to assist in compliance with ICD-10 standards and other regulations (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 2/28).

About ICD-10

U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures.

The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes (iHealthBeat, 2/23).

About the Survey

For the survey, Edifecs polled more than 50 senior health care professionals at its 2012 ICD-10 Summit less than 48 hours after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the agency will begin a process to delay for certain health care entities the Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards (Healthcare IT News, 2/28).

Sebelius did not say when the new ICD-10 compliance deadline would be (iHealthBeat, 2/23).

Survey Findings

About 64% of respondents to the Edifecs survey said they do not believe the compliance delay will improve ICD-10 readiness, while 36% said they believe the delay will improve readiness.

Seventy-six percent of respondents said they believe the ICD-10 delay will disrupt other health care reform efforts.

The survey also found that:

  • 85% of respondents said they believe the ICD-10 compliance deadline should not be delayed for more than one year;
  • 69% said they believe a two-year delay would be "potentially catastrophic" or "unrecoverable;" and
  • 59% said they believe the compliance date should not be staggered for different health care entities (Healthcare IT News, 2/28).

When asked about the potential cost effects of the ICD-10 delay:

  • Nearly 50% of respondents said a one-year delay would increase their organization's costs by between 11% and 25%; and
  • 37% said a one-year delay would increase their organization's costs by up to 50% (Edifecs release, 2/27).

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