While much of the industry is getting closer to ICD-10 readiness, only about 20 percent of physician practices have started or completed external testing and less than 50 percent responded that they were ready or would be ready for Oct. 1, according to recent Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) industry preparedness survey results. In a letter sent to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, WEDI shared findings from its June 2015 ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey, strongly encouraging the department to continue to leverage its communication channels to promote the need for compliance because of the impact that non-compliance could have on the industry. The annual WEDI ICD-10 survey involved more than 621 respondents, consisting of 453 providers, 72 vendors and 96 health plans.
Other provider key findings from the survey include:
– Hospital/health system testing and readiness: Almost 75 percent of hospitals and health systems have started or completed external testing. Additionally, nearly 90 percent responded that they were ready or would be ready by the compliance date, while a few were unsure if they would be ready.
– Health plan testing and readiness: Nearly 75 percent of health plans have begun or completed external testing. 40 percent responded that they were already prepared and the remaining 60 percent said they would be ready by October 1.
– Vendor product development and availability: 75 percent of vendor respondents have fully completed product development and no one responded that their products would not be ready by the compliance date.
WEDI Recommendations to HHS
In addition to the findings, WEDI made the following four recommendations to the HHS regarding ICD-10 readiness:
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 (LCDs).
“It is critical to closely monitor industry progress and testing as we approach the compliance date to gauge what might occur on Oct. 1, 2015,” said Jean P. Narcisi, chair of WEDI in an official statement. “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.”