Despite the challenges listed above, it’s important not to put off your preparations for ICD-10. In fact, it’s precisely because of these issues that you can’t afford to procrastinate. While other issues will always be in play, such as Meaningful Use, you can’t afford to ignore ICD-10.
I have actually heard of some facilities that have reallocated funds that were designated for ICD-10 to deal with other issues.
This could have serious financial ramifications down the road. A delay in the implementation date may be a relief, but it is simply time that should be used wisely to make effective preparations.
The question that is on everyone’s minds, of course, is whether there will be further delays, or even a cancellation of the initiative. The AMA, for example, has asked for an alternative. To that, I answer, what if there is not a further delay? Can you afford to be unprepared on the date ICD-10 goes live? Can your office function without bringing in revenue?
I have seen the way healthcare providers are dragging their feet, and I agree that keeping the original date would have been a challenge. But gaining an extra year means we should have no excuses for being unprepared when it’s time for full implementation.
I would have never thought that CMS would delay the date once it was set, but that doesn’t mean it will be delayed again. Those who are unprepared should be held responsible.