WEDI survey: Providers, vendors, payors struggle with ICD-10 prep

A recent WEDI survey shows that healthcare organizations are struggling with preparedness as the Oct. 1 deadline for ICD-10 compliance approaches.

The survey had a total of 1,174 respondents, including 796 providers, 205 health plans and 173 vendors. The last WEDI ICD-10 survey was conducted in August 2014, and comparing the latest numbers with those from August 2014 is enough to make anyone involved in ICD-10 compliance feel a little nervous.

The survey included updates on how the various organizations were doing in their attempts to achieve full ICD-10 compliance. These are some highlights:

  • Providers: 25% of provider respondents had begun external testing, down from 35% in August 2014.

  • Health plans: More than 50% of health plans have started external testing, a slight improvement compared to August 2014.

  • Vendors: About 60% of vendors said their products were available or that customer testing had begun, down from 66% in August 2014.

These numbers suggest that the April 2014 decision to give organizations more time to become ICD-10 compliant may have backfired, resulting in less preparedness as time passed. Health plans did technically show some improvement, but it’s not enough to ease any concerns about the deadline.

Jim Daley, WEDI chairman and current ICD-10 Workgroup co-chair, wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell detailing the survey’s findings.

“It appears clear that while the delay provided more time for the transition to ICD-10, many organizations did not take full advantage of this additional time,” Daley said in the letter. “Unless all industry segments make a dedicated and aggressive effort to move forward with their implementation efforts in the next few months, there will be significant disruption to industry claims processing on Oct 1, 2015.”

The organizations all seem to all share a lack of confidence that the Oct. 1 deadline will remain. Slightly more than 50% of the responders said they view uncertainty about further ICD-10 compliance delays as a “primary obstacle.”

At this point, unless vendors, health plans and, especially, providers, redouble their efforts, there may be a lot of healthcare organizations that are not compliant on Oct. 1.