The news about ICD-10 continues to divide providers, one way or another, based on whom is asked and as my friends at NueMD have found, many are still unprepared and most don’t want want it to move forward. These are the primary findings of the recently conducted a third installment of the firm’s survey, “Attitudes toward ICD-10” that was designed to measure how healthcare professionals feel about the upcoming transition. In all, of the 1,000 respondents — primarily from small and medium-sized medical practices — the majority said they think there should be no transition to ICD-10.
The following graphics help explain the sentiment toward the new coding standard for clarification:
According to the results of the survey, NueMD’s data suggest that making the switch to ICD-10 will greatly improve provider’s ability to understand medicine, but can “also introduce some serious struggles for practices while they try to maintain cash flow through the transition.”
Moving on to expectations, according to the survey, the majority of respondents said they are either highly or significantly concerned about the transition to ICD-10. The greatest concern remains for the training and education pf staff during the transition, for obvious reasons. However, payer testing and software upgrade costs are not far behind.
Respondents were most concerned about claims processing, with 65 percent saying they are either “highly” or “significantly” concerned with the transition.
In regard to outcomes, responses for every area were skewed toward “negative,” according to NueMD, with data suggesting that expectations were most negative for their operations (70.4 percent reporting “very negatively” or “somewhat negatively”), then finances (69.7 percent reporting “very negatively” or “somewhat negatively”).
When asked how confident they are that their employees will be trained by the deadline, the most common response was, “Not at all confident.” Perhaps this is not surprising given the current culture of postponement toward ICD-10. Only 11.4 percent said they’re “highly confident” that they’ll be ready.
Finally, perhaps most importantly, when asked how confident they are in their business being prepared for ICD-10 by October 1, 2015, the most common answer to the question of whether practice are prepared was “Not at all confident” (30.6 percent). “Highly confident” came in last with 13.1 percent.
According to NueMD, concern for ICD-10, especially among small practices, remains high. Given the American Medical Association’s current and renewed push for a delay in ICD-10 these findings seem in line with industry sentiment.
However, perhaps this year we’ll finally pull off the bandage and move past these arguments about ICD-10 and see where the conversation takes us from here.