"What we're seeing in the industry is the attitude that if they have to remediate anyway then they might as well use the opportunity not just to change out, rebuild or modify their existing system for ICD-10, but to get ready for everything that's coming." He says payers would like providers to take similar steps.
Still, there are concerns that the delay will actually increase the cost of ICD-10 implementation for many insurers and that some momentum—at least among providers—will be lost.
In addressing the potential ICD-10 delay in June before a House committee, Humana's program manager for ICD-10, Sidney Hebert, explained that Humana began planning for ICD-10 in 2009 and would spend 58% of its projected ICD-10 implementation budget before the end of this year. He noted that the one-year delay in implementation would translate into an "11% to 15% increase in total expenditures" for Humana.
There is concern among payers that as the delay has played out, some providers may have slowed their ICD-10 progress and will need to restart those initiatives.
Health insurers want providers to get their ICD-10 mojo back on track. Watson says Aetna is strongly encouraging providers and vendors to continue to work toward compliance and to use the one-year extension to address any business or system challenges they may experience.