Once, twice delayed? Who thinks it won't be delayed again or cancelled?
The ICD-10 delay has provided the opportunity to organizations to take a step back and either take the extra time provided to make sure the implementation is complete and training is in place, or to work on other things and then go back into scramble mode a few months before the new deadline. Most organizations will use the delay to good use...by ignoring the ICD-10 project until time is almost up again and working on all the competing projects that are out there, that were pushed aside to work on the compliance efforts. The organizations will work on those projects that increase revenue and the patient population. Time is being spent, not on the delayed initiative, but on those thgings that will impact revenue directly. Doctor Taylor suggests an alternative would be to continue to use ICD-9 diagnosic and procedure codes, even thoguh the rest of the world is already using ICD-10 and plans are underway for ICD-11's world-wide introduction. Unfortunately, full compliance by all providers, and payers, ICD-10 won't work. The codes are not easily intercahngeable to have one provider submitting claims in ICD-9 format to one payer and another provider submitting ICD-10 to another payer. Without the initiative and a firm deadline, organizations will not complete the implementation. What is the incentive? Higher rates of payments would be an incentive to the providers, and a non-incentive to the payers. ICD-10 doesn't even come with that association of higher reates of reimbursement. It comes with the association of being able to classify diagnosis codes and procedures to more finite classifications. We'll be able to run reports and know how many injuries to the left arm from a baseball thrown at over 60mph have been treated in a certain date range. Someone might need to know that.
As one of the IT folks who is now working on other items. specifically those that were put on hold for the ICD-10 work, part of me welcomes the delay. I get to clean up some of my To Do list. The other part of me wants to get the ICD-10 project done, tested, and into Production so it's not on the list at all.
Change is hard. Changing the change makes everyone's life hard and leads to a disbelief that the compliance will ever be enfourced. Set a date. Make it stick, IT has shown that it will meet stringent compliance dates. We weren't late with the Y2K bug fixes! That was a date no one could change. We would have made the 10/1/2014 date, if it hadn't changed. We will make the 10/1/2015 date, if that one sticks.