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Delay of ICD-10 Brings Docs Relief

MANAGED CARE April 2012. © MediMedia USA
News & Commentary

Delay of ICD-10 Brings Docs Relief

MANAGED CARE April 2012. ©MediMedia USA

The recent announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is pushing back the deadline for converting to ICD-10 coding was met with relief by physician practices. Just how much concern is reported in a survey taken by Vitera, a practice management software vendor, before HHS’s February 15 announcement.

“We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead,” says HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The old deadline had been Oct. 1, 2013; the new one has not been announced.

Vitera surveyed 394 physicians and medical office staff members for the company, as CEO Matthew Hawkins puts it, to “understand the core issues preventing physicians from upgrading their software regularly.”

Eighty-five percent of respondents ranked the transition to ICD-10 one of the top concerns facing their practices. Physicians fear that the upgrade will take time away from serving patients. Overseeing the transfer worries practice managers, who are responsible for training employees.