New survey says ICD-10 delay could be ‘catastrophic’

According to a new survey published by regulatory compliance technology vendor Edifecs, a majority of healthcare professionals believe that delaying the transition to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10) could be “potentially catastrophic,” reports Healthcare IT News.

Edifecs polled more than 50 senior healthcare officials at the 2012 ICD-10 Summit, which the company hosted. Approximately 69 percent of experts surveyed believe that the extension to the October 2013 deadline proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services could be unrecoverable. An additional 76 percent said delaying the transition to the new codebase would significantly harm healthcare reform efforts.

“The message we heard loud and clear from conference attendees and survey respondents was to keep moving while the industry awaits the final decision on the extended deadline and which entities will be affected,” Sunny Singh, chief executive officer of Edifecs, told the news source. “The survey results tell us that stopping or slowing down work is a very real outcome of a delay, and it could derail a healthcare organization’s progress. The cost implications alone are worrisome.”

According to Information Week, many leading healthcare IT advocacy organizations, such as the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, have expressed concern regarding the proposed extension to the October 2013 deadline. Some healthcare IT experts have said that extension of the timeline could adversely affect the significant financial investments many healthcare providers have made toward meeting the original deadline.

The American Medical Association supported the HHS’ proposals, saying that alleviating the pressure of migrating to the new codebase could provide healthcare IT professionals and hospitals with the breathing room they need to attest to stage two of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use federal financial incentives.

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