Healthcare providers are picking up the pace in a federally mandated switch to upgraded financial transaction standards, but still more than a third of providers don't have a conversion project under way, according to a survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management.
One-third not ready for 5010 switch: HIMSS
The survey was completed in December. A summary analysis of the survey was released late Thursday.
A 2009 HHS rule mandates the nationwide conversion from ASC X12 Version 4010, in current use, to ASC X12 Version 5010 by Jan. 1, 2013. Upgrading to 5010 is a necessary precursor to another national coding system upgrade—from the ICD-9 series of clinical codes to the ICD-10 series. The ICD-10 switch must be made by Oct. 1, 2013.
According to a roadmap for conversion contained in the rule, by this time, providers and their business partners should have implemented 5010 upgrades to their computerized financial systems and completed internal testing. Additionally, external testing of partner-to-partner exchanges should have begun by Jan. 1.
That hasn't happened for most of the survey's participants, most of whom (69%) represented hospitals and integrated delivery networks, although responses also were received from group practices (18%) and long-term-care providers (13%).
The survey found that 63% of respondents had a 5010 project under way, up from 38% in a similar survey conducted in May 2010.
But 17% of survey respondents indicated their organizations were putting off external testing of 5010 transactions until the latter half of this year, while 30% indicated that they don't know when they'll start testing.
"Providers, who depend on their system vendors to deliver 5010-ready code, and clearinghouses and payers to accept the new transactions, are understandably concerned about the readiness of others for 5010," according to the survey analysis. "Two out of three survey respondents worry that payers will not be ready to pay claims and process other transactions in the 5010 format. About half of the respondents have doubts about their software vendor's ability to deliver 5010-compliant versions and their clearinghouses to process 4010 and 5010 transactions in time for adequate testing and implementation."
According to the survey report, "providers were making significant progress on ICD-10 albeit at a slower pace than for 5010. Providers with staffed and funded projects increased from 30% in the May 2010 survey to 47% in December 2010.
The drive to meet federal meaningful-use requirements was cited by at least two-thirds of survey respondents as drawing away scarce IT resources from both the 5010 and ICD-10 projects. Providers also identified staff shortages as barriers to progress for both projects.
Send us a letter