Product Development

HIMSS12 Pulse on ICD-10 Delay: A Divided Industry

With the “intent to delay” announcement one week before HIMSS, we knew there would be a good amount of new buzz on ICD-10.

For any industry there are pragmatists, collaborators, and innovators. [Deloitte did a great job of categorizing this theory around ICD-10.] Not to over generalize by any means, the majority of insurance providers seemed to be on schedule to meet the deadline and now disgruntled, as the delay will cost them more money over time.

But on the flip side, maybe it is opportunity for these insurance providers to use ICD-10 as a strategic advantage. This could be an opportunity for insurance providers to help their care provider partners who seem to be struggling with needs assessments, IT renovation plans, testing, and more.

After all, the right hand feeds the left, and so forth—potentially by collaborating from innovators out to pragmatists, could be a strategy for saving both sides a lot of money in the remediation—especially since financial neutrality doesn’t seem to be a reality.

No one I talked to seemed to think the delay was a good idea. But naturally there will be those who will shift budgets and resources toward other projects until ICD-10 becomes the urgent project again. But who can blame them? It’s not the only pressing project for any one healthcare organization.

How do you balance 5010, ICD-10, SNOMED, ACO, HIE, Meaningful Use, EHR/EMR, and any other compliance or regulatory initiative simultaneously, each one touching thousands of people and yet straining the same budgets or overlapping budgets.

The good news from a vendor standpoint, both sides are embracing they can’t do this alone. Technology providers have the tools and knowledge to make all these regulations a reality—stabilizing the complexity while ensuring projects are completed on time and on budget.