And of course, there are financial considerations. Many organizations have already invested huge dollars preparing.
"Providers and payers have done extensive work and spent millions to get ready for implementation, from training to systems issues, data conversions, budget considerations, staffing, etc. To put this major transition on hold will not only have a negative financial impact on what has already been done and create a major setback when we need to start up again, it will also add a mental blow when implementation comes around again—it feels a little like the boy who cried wolf!" explained Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CHCO, regulatory specialist for HCPro.
Mackaman said that those professionals and providers with whom she has spoken are looking ahead to the transition, recognizing that the benefits of moving forward—from data that will assist with improved patient care to improved statistical reporting and payment—far outweigh the advantages of stalling.
"At a certain point you begin to wonder why we don't just wait until ICD-11," said Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CCDS, director of HIM and coding, at HCPro. She too questioned the decision to delay so late in the game after providers have already invested in assessments and revised systems.
AHIMA and the AAPC were still formulating comments at the time of publication.