Russ Branzell, CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, doesn't believe the ICD-10 implementation deadline should roll back again, but he concedes that providers have too much heaped on their plates all at once.
"We need to allow providers and hospitals to really focus on ICD-10," he says, "but we are also concerned that there are too many competing initiatives that are converting around the same time frame—everything from meaningful use, security requirements, ACOs and population health—all of this is converging at the same time and distracting from getting ICD-10 appropriately resource staffed, process improved and implemented."
Instead of rolling back the ICD-10 deadline for a second time, Branzell says the federal government should give providers another six months or longer to implement Meaningful Use Stage 2 before suffering any financial penalties.
"In a medium-sized medical group, if you have too many competing initiatives for caregivers, there is not a lot of focus on anything. And with ICD-10 there so much that still needs to be done, especially on the provider end, training and understanding the documentation requirements and the new systems. If they have to do that while they are trying to figure out Meaningful Use Stage 2, something has to give."
Branzell believes that many providers will opt to delay Meaningful Use Stage 2 and suffer the penalties as they attempt to launch ICD-10.