Most Providers Ready to Start ICD-10 Testing by End of Year

icd10A majority of healthcare providers in a new survey say they used last year’s ICD-10 implementation delay to their advantage and are prepared to start testing.

newly released ICD-10 readiness survey from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) says that 65% of respondents could begin end-to-end testing prior to the fourth quarter of 2015, when compliance is set to begin. Of these, a majority (63%) will be ready to conduct testing in 2014, while the rest will wait until 2015.

Ten percent of respondents had no plans to conduct end-to-end testing, while 17% were unsure when their organization would be ready for testing.

The AHIMA report describes end-to-end testing as “an important internal validation tool in which all components of a system are tested in an environment that closely mirrors real-world scenarios.”

Survey respondents were primarily from healthcare delivery organizations (73%). Among those, acute care hospitals (30%) and clinics/physician practices (25%) were most common.

AHIMA noted that test readiness differs depending on organizational size.  Nearly half (45%) of clinics/physician practices surveyed said they were not planning on end-to-end testing.  In contrast, only two hospitals did not plan to end-to-end test.

AHIMA speculates that smaller physician groups may lack sufficient resources or knowledge for testing.

With less than a year remaining before the October 1, 2015, compliance date, AHIMA urged provider organizations of all sizes to “test early and frequently… during all stages of implementation, not only in an end-to-end environment.

“Stakeholders should test systems as they work with their vendors to make upgrades and communicate with all of the individuals involved in the claims pathway to ensure that the system functions properly for all roles involved. Furthermore, testing should not focus only on the technical systems, but also the workflows, processes, and supporting elements necessary to use the systems properly.”

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