Providers Turn to Consultants for ICD-10 Prep

February 13, 2013

Providers are turning to third-party consulting firms to prepare for ICD-10, including help with training, roadmaps and documentation, according to KLAS.

Providers around the country are turning to third-party consulting firms to help them prepare for the transition to ICD-10, according to two new KLAS surveys released this week.

Consulting firms are helping organizations develop roadmaps, train staff and improve clinical documentation. The deadline for transitioning to ICD-10, the revision of the medical classification and coding system, is October 2014, and CMS has said providers should expect testing alone to take 19 months, KLAS notes.

“According to this guideline, providers will need to have their ICD-10 plans implemented and begin testing in just a few months,” according to one report in the series, ICD-10 Consulting: Roadmap to a Successful Transition. “Providers are feeling the pressure to put plans itno place and implemented them to ensure their compliance with ICD-10."

So they are turning to firms like The Advisory Board, Deloitte and 3M, the top ranked consulting firms among 24 mentioned by respondents. About 110 providers interviewed said they were using consultant support, in line with the 65 percent who said in 2011 that they planned to hire a firm, according to KLAS.

Types of services provided by third-party consulting firms (Chart courtesy KLAS)

• 84 percent of the consulting deals involved roadmap/gap analysis, designed to help gaugue how ICD-10 will affect an organization and what steps they need to take to prepare

• Clinical training (52 percent) and staff training (40 percent) topped the list of providers’ needs for ICD-10 readiness

• 30 percent of agreements involved clinical documentation improvement 

In the second report, ICD-10 Perception 2012: Can Technology Relieve Readiness Issues?, providers noted that technology is still a major consideration in their readiness strategies, but it’s less of a concern this year (14 percent) compared with in 2011 (28 percent).

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they have purchased or planned to purchase computer-assisted coding technology, and 38 percent listed CDI technology.

Providers also cited concern about their coders’ loss of productivity, some as much as 70 percent. “This situation is driving providers to look at other ways to minimize this projected loss, including computer-assisted coding and outsourced coding services,” KLAS reported.

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