Up until three weeks ago, the healthcare industry was slowly but surely building momentum to an October deadline for upgrading their coding language to the brand new ICD-10. The current system, ICD-9, is over 30 years old and uses a mere 14,000 codes (compared to ICD-10's 69,000), which has negatively impacted coding accuracy for many practices and hospitals.
While there was plenty of anxiety among providers about time constraints, many were anticipating a new system come October. Now, with ICD-10 being delayed by least another year — to the industry's chagrin — providers and practitioners have been left wondering, what now?
The technology news site Information Week has compiled a few suggestions on how healthcare organizations can move forward in the wake of the ICD-10 delay:
- Proceed as usual: Most providers and payers will likely end up opting for this choice, as anything else could undermine the efforts they've already made in building to an October 2014 start date. While staying the course is the best strategy for keeping resources and timelines on schedule, it does raise the possibility of falling out of step with other organizations that aren't proceeding at the same pace. Other issues could arise if funding or staffing fall below necessary levels due to reductions being made during this hiatus period.
- Stop everything: Conversely, you could just suspend any and all work being done on ICD-10 and keep the necessary budgets in place until a new deadline is set. This could present later problems, though, of having to rebuild lost momentum and reallocate resources all over again.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to how your practice should move forward now that ICD-10 has been pushed back for another year. You can, however, purchase new chiropractic documentation software that is ICD-10 compliant, ensuring that when a new deadline finally is announced, you won't have to worry about any additional disruptions to your workflow.