20% of smaller hospitals have not started ICD-10 training

Yet another survey indicates that healthcare providers are not progressing toward ICD-10 implementation at the recommended rate. One in five small- and mid-sized hospitals have not begun any education or training for the transition to ICD-10.

Of the more than 120 hospitals with less than 400 beds surveyed by Health Revenue Assurance Holdings, a provider of technology and revenue integrity solutions for healthcare organizations, approximately half are not following official Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) timelines on preparing for the ICD-10 transition.

“The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is equivalent to learning another language; it will not be as easy as flipping a switch. HIM coders must be exposed and then trained on the fundamentals of ICD-10 to ensure that a hospital’s revenue system remains intact and that millions will not be left on the table when the transition takes place,” said Andrea Clark, chief executive officer of HRAA. 

Of the hospitals surveyed:

  • 40 percent have not begun ICD-10 CM training for coding staff;
  • 55 percent have not begun ICD-10-PCS training for coding staff;
  • 47 percent have not begun document improvement education for medical staff; and
  • 31 percent do not plan to dual code prior to October 1, 2014.

While CMS recommends that hospitals conduct internal and external testing in 2013, the majority of respondents stated that they do not plan to start to dual code accounts until 2014. A total of 25 percent plan to start in January 2014, 24 percent plan to start in April 2014 and 13 percent plan to begin in July 2014 or later.

Even though respondents indicated that hospitals are delayed in conducting the proper training and testing, 68 percent said that they plan to submit ICD-10 coded claims to payers for testing prior to the transition.

HRAA made the following recommendations for hospitals regarding ICD-10 implementation:

  1. Hospitals must contact and engage in regular updates from vendors regarding dual storage of ICD-9 and ICD-10 data. 
  2. Hospitals must utilize dual coding to benchmark with continued progress in order to mitigate financial risks for all payers.
  3. Hospitals must orchestrate dual coding results for consistency and integrity with a dedicated feedback modality.