March 25, 2016

ICD-10: What Did or Didn't Work? WEDI Survey Underway

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The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) recently launched an industry-wide survey to assess the overall implementation of ICD-10. The survey results will be evaluated and compiled into a report for the healthcare industry.

This is WEDI’s twelfth ICD-10 survey, but it differs significantly from the others. WEDI has been conducting surveys on ICD-10 since 2009 in order to gain a broad perspective on the readiness status for different segments of the industry.

The first survey was performed in November 2009 in order to get an initial assessment of where the industry stood in preparing for ICD-10, while subsequent surveys were used to assess industry progress, identify issues, and to inform the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). WEDI’s most recent survey prior to this one was launched in June 2015.

Now that we’re more than five months beyond the official implementation of ICD-10, we felt it was important to review what happened during the transition. ICD-10 marked one of the most significant large-scale changes ever attempted within the healthcare industry, and yet it seemed to go off without significant problems.

There were some smaller issues, but by and large it has been labeled a “non-event,” much like Y2K. We’d like to get a better understanding of why.

Of course, extensive preparations had a lot to do with the success of the transition, but we felt there were other, more specific factors that helped. We want to identify these so that the lessons learned can be applied to future mandates, since we all know there will be other large changes coming down the road.

The questions in this new survey will be very different from those of our prior surveys. Instead of asking about the status of preparations, the survey will focus on the transition process itself. For example, questions will address what worked and what might have gone better, why this was, and underlying factors, including what might have been done differently. 

The survey asks about which information sources were used to find out about ICD-10, and which were most helpful. The survey has some standard demographic questions so we’ll be able to see if certain sources were more helpful to providers versus health plans, etc.

The survey also addresses impacts to operations and productivity. It asks about the specific business functions impacted by ICD-10 and whether these impacts were positive or negative.

We feel that the feedback this survey will provide will give us insight into the best areas to focus industry efforts in order to make future transitions even more successful, whether it’s a new transaction version or maybe even ICD-11. 

The survey can be found online at www.wedi.org and is open to everyone in the industry. There’s a link at the top of the WEDI home page that leads directly to the survey. There’s also a link to a PDF of the survey to allow respondents to formulate answers ahead of time in the event they need to consult with others in their organization.

The survey was launched Feb. 26 and will close April 8. Again, it’s open to everyone in the industry, not just WEDI members, and we encourage readers to spread the word in order to have as many responses as possible, which will increase the validity of the results.  

One final note: the upcoming WEDI conference will be held May 23-26 in Salt Lake City, and WEDI encourages readers to attend. We hope to have the survey results analyzed by that time.

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