Survey reveals more hosptials on track for ICD-10 transition

On September 21, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) released a report that indicated that more healthcare facilities are preparing for the upcoming ICD-10 transition deadline. After moving the transition date from 2011, the government set October 1, 2013, as the time when medical facilities need to stop using ICD-9 – a medical coding system that has assisted doctors' medical practice management for nearly 30 years.

The Web survey was conducted in August and cataloged the responses of 639 healthcare workers, most of whom worked in hospitals or with delivery systems. And the results show improvement from AHIMA's last survey. According to the research outlet, 85 percent of respondents said their hospital had begun working toward the ICD-10 transition. This was up 23 percent from the results the nonprofit found one year ago.

According to AHIMA, 40 percent of hospitals currently have a planning team in place, and these facilities are taking the lead in other areas as well. Many have already allocated funds toward the transition and around one in every 10 has conducted an impact assessment.

The situation may be more dire for small medical facilities, as only 21 percent of these institutions have taken similar steps to meet the deadline, the report says. In addition, the number of respondents who indicated that they currently have a project plan and budget in place was 14 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Whether these facilities house radiologists, pulmonologists or primary care doctors, these organizations may want to consider working with a company that has experience readying similar entities for the switch to medical billing software and electronic medical records using trusted products from providers like Medisoft or Allscripts

While a paperless medical office may be a bit far off for these facilities, companies that can provide installation and guidance can help them navigate the decision making process with more ease.