The long-delayed switch to ICD-10 coding has been in effect for half a month, and, at least from the perspective of hospital CIOs, it has not been too bad.
“Schedules worked OK. Check. Coding went OK. Check,” Paul Foelsch, vice president and CIO of North Kansas City (Missouri) Hospital said Thursday at the College of Health Information Management Executives Fall CIO Forum in Orlando, Florida. But Foelsch is not ready to pop the Champagne corks just yet.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that, while insurance claims have had to be in ICD-10 format as of Oct. 1, there usually is a lag of two weeks or so before Medicare payments arrive. That means that payments for claims submitted since the beginning of the month are just starting to show up, and in many cases, have not been released yet.
Most of the major private payers are on a similar schedule, so those payments have not hit yet, either. In other words, it’s too soon to tell if payer systems have been properly updated to accept and turn around ICD-10 claims in a couple of weeks.
Smaller insurers and many state Medicaid programs might take more time to pay, and those are less likely to be ready for ICD-10 than Medicare or the big commercial health plans. So Foelsch isn’t ready to let his guard down.
“We’ll continue monitoring through the end of the year,” he said.