A few weeks ago, we posted an ICD-10 Preparation Checklist that outlined some of the major steps practices will have to go through as they implement ICD-10. One of those steps was to touch base with the EHR vendor and billing services to see what their plans are for the ICD-10 transition.
According to a recent MGMA survey on ICD-10, this is the area physicians are most worried about. Almost half of the physician groups that participated in the study had not heard from their EHR vendor regarding plans for ICD-10. MGMA surveyed 1,200 medical groups, which represents about 55,000 practicing physicians. Furthermore, over half of respondents reported that they had not heard from their PM vendors either.
From the MGMA’s report on the survey: “It is proving to be one of the most complex and expensive changes our healthcare system has faced in decades. Adding to the implementation challenge and clearly taxing all stakeholders, ICD-10 will arrive at the same time that a number of other transformative federal policies go into effect, such as health insurance exchanges and Stage 2 of the CMS Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program.”
What can physicians do if their vendors aren’t ready for ICD-10? Not much, unfortunately. The bright side, though, is that vendors that plan to stay in business past 2013 must meet the October 2014 compliance deadline just like everyone else.
If you haven’t heard from any of your software vendors about ICD-10, now is the time to do so. If your vendor has no definitive plan for ICD-10, it’s time to consider switching vendors. Like it or not, if your vendor won’t be ICD-10 compliant by the deadline, you won’t be able to run a practice.
Most likely, though, your vendors are working on plans for ICD-10 and just haven’t let you know what they are yet. It’s always best to be proactive in cases like this, so reach out to your vendors to make sure work is being done. As the MGMA survey revealed, vendors are approaching ICD-10 in a variety of ways. Some are guaranteeing ICD-10 compliance by October 2014, some are charging upgrade fees, and some are offering training to help their clients get ready.
If you haven’t done so already, check with your EHR and PM vendors today to align your goals for ICD-10 with theirs.