Although recent actions have made it seem like the government will maintain the current ICD-10 deadline, there's still a movement within the medical community to create an alternative. According to a press release from the American Medical Association, a consortium of 100 different physician groups has demanded a "contingency plan" for ICD-10 adoption.
Together, this collective has called upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to think of a new strategy for addressing ICD-10 administrative issues.
The chief concern is that the transition will leave providers with an overwhelming amount of claims work to do, and that the timing of the October 1 implementation deadline will cause confusion because both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes will still impact quality reporting. Instead of one clean transition to ICD-10, physicians will still have to refer to ICD-9 codes at first.
Dr. Robert Wah, the president of the AMA, said that the current efforts taken by CMS to promote testing and training are not enough to fully prepare for the aftermath of the changeover, which he believes will lead to a "regulatory tsunami."
"Although we appreciate the training, educational tools and other efforts by CMS to prepare physicians for the ICD-10 transition, it is clear that more information is needed about how the shift will impact quality reporting so physicians can avoid penalties," Wah said. It remains to be seen how the CMS will respond to this letter, or if it will affect future efforts by providers to enter into ICD-10 compliance.
The amount of knowledge that experienced healthcare coding and consulting services have will be helpful in addressing conversion concerns, as well as assessing relevant data within a practice's systems if circumstances do end up changing. In any case, knowing the impact of ICD-10 on codes is vital for proper planning.