With less than four weeks remaining until the Oct. 1 deadline, Navicure teamed up with Porter Research to analyze readiness among health professionals in the field. The survey, conducted nationwide last month, yielded interesting results across the board.
Despite the low preparedness levels among healthcare organizations, confidence has certainly climbed in the past few months. While the survey found that only 43 percent of participants have started the transition to ICD-10 codes, an impressive 85 percent still reported feeling confident and poised to approach the upcoming deadline. This is a 2 percent increase from the same survey conducted back in January. The rate of those who reported feeling "not confident" during the first survey dropped from 13 percent to 11 percent.
Those who took part in the survey also responded to questions regarding obstacles that would potentially prevent a smooth transition. More than half of participants cited concern in regard to cash flow and the potential impact on revenue. Another 27 percent felt that a shortfall of preparedness among payers would result in a lack of payment. In terms of challenges, coding and the increase in clinical documentation updating were among the most potent.
Although the survey found that a large percent of participants believed the transition would negatively impact finances and operations, most respondents did not believe that ICD-10 codes would negatively impact the patient experience. Sixty-five percent believed that the impact on patients would be neutral and 10 percent believed that patients would actually benefit from the transition.
According to EHR Intelligence, claims denial remains a large concern for most health organizations. This concern is only natural given the transition from a set of 14,000 codes to more than 69,000 codes. From training and practice to simply growing comfortable with a new set of diagnostic codes, small glitches and setbacks along the way are inevitable.
Willingness to comply
Over the summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the implementation of measures aimed at easing the transition to new codes. One of these measures was the promise that they will not deny claims for non specific ICD-10 codes during the first year following the transition. As long as diagnosis codes are from the correct family of ICD-10 codes, payment will not be denied. Despite this leniency pledged by the CMS, 74 percent of Navicure survey respondents surprisingly stated that they plan to use the most specific codes possible. Only 3 percent reported that they would use the announcement to their advantage, opting to select non-specific ICD-10 codes instead, according to the survey.
Positive outlook ahead
While previous thoughts on the matter pointed toward many professionals in the health field believing that they will experience a loss in productivity come October, survey results show otherwise. The optimism that the transition will not affect the day-to-day operations of staff members is quite high. Nearly one-fifth of survey respondents anticipated no loss in staff productivity, and the majority of respondents believed that they would only experience a 20 percent productivity loss or less.
Overall, no matter how much preparation health organizations have or have not completed, an overwhelming number of professionals feel fully prepared to weather the storm that Oct. 1 brings.