The new ICD-10 date: Just another line in the sand?

The Department of Health and Human Services has officially given the new deadline for ICD-10 implementation as Oct. 1, 2015. Once upon a time we would not have questioned a delay of this type but after two delays and two years, it’s anyone’s guess if the deadline will hold this time. And with Meaningful Use II attestation so far behind what everyone expected, the impact from that could yet again affect ICD-10.

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

Given the magnitude of what is happening inside of healthcare administration today, if you think about it, the delays were almost inevitable. We’re trying to make massive, expensive and time-consuming changes on many fronts in a very tough economic environment — the recovery that doesn’t feel like a recovery to anybody.

I wonder though if it would have been wiser to have chosen October 2016 as the new date. While there are hospitals still struggling to prepare, those that are ready have now lost momentum ($$$$).

Compare the delay of ICD-10 to the loss of momentum children experience when taking off three months between school years — called by academics “the summer slide” or “summer learning loss.” What we have here is “hospital readiness loss.”

It’s tough enough inside of hospitals now juggling multiple projects to have them derailed by the very folks who imposed the deadlines to begin with.

It’s important to have goals and dates for completion or nothing gets done but more realism about all the interwoven and competing processes from the 30,000-foot view would have made this difficult road more manageable.

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