More warning signals are flashing on the health industry's readiness for the upcoming switch to ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes—this time from a key revenue-cycle-management sector.
According to a recent survey by the Healthcare Billing & Management Association, a lack of preparedness by the billers' clients—predominately hospital- and office-based physicians—remains a significant barrier.
Many billers also lack needed ICD-10 software upgrades, the survey data shows.
Respondents also indicated a dearth of rigorous testing of the software systems for claims throughput. The association's members are said to process 80% of claims submitted by third-party medical-billing companies, which handle a preponderance of claims for hospital- and office-based physicians.
Asked what was the biggest impediment to their firm's ICD-10 readiness, 39% of the members surveyed cited problems with provider-supplied documentation, coding and a lack of “willingness” on the part of their provider clients.
Uncertainty that the government might delay the ICD-10 compliance date for fourth time ranked second, cited by 17% of respondents.
About 3 in 10 billers, when asked if their company's software had been fully updated for ICD-10, indicated either “no” (24%) or they were “not sure” (7%). Of those, 36% added there was no “date-specific schedule for an update,” while another 22% were unsure about an update.