EHR System and Provider Compliance with ICD-10

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TL;DR
Some physicians are still resisting ICD-10 implementation due to negative effects it may have on smaller practices revenue stream. Both EHR vendors and consumers need to both push for upgrades in order to comply with the looming deadline.

ICD-10 Deadline Pushed to October 2015

The ICD-10 deadline has been pushed back to October 2015, at which point the new coding system will be implemented. Many physicians are concerned about what the new codes could mean for their medical practices.

Preparing for a new set of classification codes will be a long process for practices and will be a substantial adjustment. The main concern for smaller practices is that this could have a negative effect on their revenue, which they cannot afford. However, many organizations, such as the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM), are training members to prepare for the upcoming changes.

Humana contacted EHR vendors, looking to conclude which of them would be supplying upgrades for ICD-10. Of those who were surveyed, only 37 replied, but consistently refused to answer. This situation could make it further difficult for practices attempting to prepare for the new codes. Consumers haven’t been requesting upgrades; however, and so, vendors haven’t felt the need to offer them. Also, with the deadline having been delayed so many times, vendors haven’t had to deal with the issue yet.

Practices need to be persistent with their EHR vendors and demand software upgrades so that, come implementation time, this won’t be a problem. Vendors, on the other hand, should be more proactive regarding ICD-10, as the deadline is approaching within the next 15 months.

Both consumers and vendors should take advantage of this time in order to ensure that the ICD-10 changes go smoothly for everyone.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

4 thoughts on “EHR System and Provider Compliance with ICD-10

  1. My view of ignoring to comply with the federal government to make the switch to ICD 10 is tantamount to closing the practice. Changes are being made for good or bad? Only time will tell. Every industry has rules to follow and the Healthcare Industry is no different. What might happen if the insurance payers refuse payment due to this decision? Financial hard times will likely follow.

  2. Truth is that the United States is the only civilized country that has yet to adopt ICD-10 standards. There is no doubt that the transition will be painful for not just practices, but also for their technology vendors, but in a decreasingly smaller world, it is necessary for us to conform to the global standard. The real blame is all of this falls on CMS as they are the ones that keep pushing back the deadline for the transition. If the US had made the switch 5 years ago as originally planned, it would already be done and this entire conversation would be rendered moot.

  3. While the transition will be difficult, it is one that needs to happen. Practices and vendors need to work quickly in order to meet the new deadline. There are only so many times that the deadline can be changed and continuing to do so does not help the situation. Providers may not cooperate if they believe they can continue to push back the deadline.

  4. Ignoring this is only going to prolong the inevitable. Although the transition is going to be difficult, so was the transition when “HIPPA” came into play and we all survived. It’s a necessary evil, just do it and get it done and over with!

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