Barack Obama signed a legislation in April that has delayed the ICD-10 transition by one year. Even though providers get one more year to prepare, this change has shaken up the healthcare industry. Not just physicians, but health insurers who were prepared to use the new code set from October 2014 will now have to re-evaluate their implementation plans.
Hospitals will bear the brunt of this delay:
This delay has brought a financial blow to health systems and hospitals that have devoted time, money and resources to get ready for implementation of ICD-10 in 2014. Many small practices were not prepared for the transition but majority of payers and hospitals were.
According to experts, if the delay would have been announced in 2013 it wouldn’t have had the same negative impact as the delay in 2014. In case of hospitals, this delay will cost more as consulting engagements and timelines have been extended.
Not just hospitals but a large number of private practices were also prepared for the transition. They had to manage costly technology upgrades, time-consuming training sessions and complex clinical documentation improvement programs to implement the changes. Lack of time, money and resources had created enough obstacles for them and now this delay has discredited their efforts, with the change proving detrimental.
Staffing issues might arise:?
Due to this delay, practices and hospitals will have to bear the expenses of maintaining testing procedures for one more year while undergoing changes or system upgrades necessary for next year. Practices are also going to face staffing issues due to the shift in ICD-10 deadline. Some providers have coders who planned on retiring after 1st October 2014. Now that the date has been changed, providers will have to see what needs to be done in order to get experienced coders.
Providers are now waiting for CMS to give more information about new transition deadline and what the delay will mean for vendors, clearinghouses, providers and all concerned parties. In a nutshell, this change in date has left various questions unanswered from testing and training to various other tasks.
Will delay mean more time to prepare?
There is no doubt that this delay will help unprepared practices prepare for the new coding system but it will also pose significant resource and financial impact on every entity that was invested in the transition heavily.
If your practice is still unprepared, take advantage of this delay and make necessary changes. You can outsource your requirements to a billing company as a billing partner can help you in smooth transition to ICD-10.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com has been helping practices prepare for ICD-10 transition. With the largest consortium of coders and billers, the team at MBC has the required expertise for handling demands of ICD-10 and HIPAA-5010. You can rely on the MBC team for managing your revenue cycle, maximize reimbursements and reduce claim denials so that you get ample time for focusing on patient care.