April 1, 2014
On Monday, March 31st, the Senate passed the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.” This bill, which has already been passed by the House, contains this year’s SGR fix, a delay to the two-midnight rule, and a one year delay in ICD-10. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law shortly.
This delay is not without cost to the industry. AHIMA has estimated that the delay in ICD-10 will cost the industry between $1 billion and $6.6 billion dollars. In our article on Friday we identified some of those costs for providers, including increased costs for training and already purchased tools and subscriptions to products that won’t be needed for another year.
The news isn’t all bad, though. Phoenix has been working with a number of small and medium size hospitals who have realized that they underestimated what was needed for ICD-10 until it was almost too late to implement it. They see the additional year as an opportunity to do it right. Having been panicked by the realization that ICD-10 was larger than their first estimates, they don’t want to make the mistake that many hospitals made with the first delay and just put it off.
The larger hospitals have been on board with ICD-10 for a while, but the smaller and mid-size hospitals are now far more committed to ICD-10, not just because they’ve been scared, but because they do see the long term benefits and the long term handwriting on the wall.
Our advice to our readers and our clients is the same — IT and workflow redesign projects should continue, although perhaps at a somewhat less rushed pace. However, education and training efforts require a complete re-plan, as ICD-10 training that goes unused for a year will doubtless need repeated.
Phoenix is currently working with a number of hospitals to refocus their ICD-10 project and education plans in light of the president’s expected signature. If you’re looking for guidance on planning for the new ICD-10 deadline, we can help. Contact us!