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CODING

ICD-10 survey: small practices not trained, not ready for transition

A survey conducted by NueMD, a provider of cloud-based medical practice management software for small practices, finds only 13 percent of healthcare organizations are “highly confident” their business will be ready for the October 1 ICD-10 deadline.

The survey is based on 1,000 responses from healthcare professionals across all 50 states.

Respondents were asked how they feel about the new coding standards and the timeline for implementation. The top response for both questions is “There should be no transition to ICD-10.”

Answers to other questions help explain that sentiment:

  • 11 percent of respondents say they’re “highly confident” their employees will be adequately trained by October 1, while 35 percent say “not at all confident.”
  • 13 percent of respondents say they’re “highly confident” their business will be prepared for ICD-10 by October 1, while 31 percent say “not at all confident.”

When asked about their concerns and expectations for different areas of their business:

  • 65 percent say they’re “highly” or “significantly” concerned about claims processing.
  • 70 percent expect that finances will be affected “somewhat” or “very” negatively.
  • 70 percent also expect that operations will be affected “somewhat” or “very” negatively.

While the survey includes responses from medical practices, billing companies, and other industry professionals, the majority of respondents are from small practices. The data suggests these small practices are less prepared and more concerned than larger organizations.

“The transition deadline is coming up fast, but there’s still time to prepare,” said Caleb Clarke, director of sales and marketing at NueMD. “Coders and billers should become comfortable with new code sets and providers need to get used to the new level of specificity required for documentation. If you’re able to rattle off your most common [ICD-10] codes by October 1, that’ll go a long way.”

NueMD conducted similar surveys in 2012 and 2014. While there were some small positive changes in levels of concern, there weren’t any major shifts over the last three years.

Complete survey results are available at the NueMD website.


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