The latest edition of WEDI’s survey about ICD-10 readiness is out and the results are not as promising as it expected. The report shows that vendor readiness seems to have stagnated, whereas provider readiness appears to have nosedived since the previous edition of the survey in August 2014. And all of this has made experts raise their fingers on the decision to extend the deadline by a year.
As per the survey, nearly 33 percent of the providers surveyed have successfully carried out their impact assessment, which is not ideal. This is because these numbers are in fact a dip by 17 percent compared to the previous year. And the bad news doesn’t end there. The number of providers prepared for external testing has also taken a hit by 7 percent compared to the previous year. And in the case of Medicare testing, a paltry 25 percent have already completed the process and approximately 20 percent had no intentions to get onboard. Though the numbers are slightly better in case of the vendors, it is far from satisfactory.
All these figures highlight the lack of preparedness among the healthcare players. And irrespective of whether it is due to staffing issues, budget constraints or other competing priorities, the cost of not adhering to the October 1st deadline can be catastrophic, say experts. It will mean that your practice will be completely crippled as all your claims and other transactions will be rejected.
The Way Out
If your organization is still not ready for ICD-10, you have an easy way out. Irrespective of whether you are a large hospital chain, standalone service provider, or small and large physician groups you can still meet the mandatory requirement by outsourcing your ICD-10 coding services. This will result in zero coding backlogs and would guarantee you high quality service at reduced price. In addition, it takes away the worry of dealing with resource shortages.
Thanks to the advantages, the trend of outsourcing ICD coding is on a rise. As per another recent survey, 66 percent of the respondents have already hired or planning to employ the services of a third party coder. Experts believe the complication involved in ICD-10 transition is driving the healthcare service providers to lean on the knowledge and expertise of outsourced service providers.
By extending the date for ICD-10 implementation, the government has given you a perfect chance to explore the benefits of outsourced coding. Now is the time to make a smooth transition to outsourcing without having to feel the pressure of an impending ICD-10 rollout.