"We share MGMA's concerns, especially for the provider side of this," he says. "We think most of the hospitals have a good grasp on ICD-10. They don't have all the training and work they are supposed to have had done but generally the hospitals have a good grasp on this. But even on the hospital side we think they need to focus and have the flexibility."
"It doesn't mean that they should delay anything, but they should have some flexibility so if anyone needs to move back Meaningful Use Stage 2 they are not suffering penalties so they can focus on this. If we allow everyone the flexibility they need, maybe six or 12 months, we can get all of these initiatives accomplished in an appropriate sequence and timing."
Why not rollback the ICD-10 deadline and allow providers to focus on Meaningful Use Stage 2?
"For ICD-10, the ship has already sailed," Branzell says. "Most hospitals have already upgraded their systems. Many are already running dual accounting systems to check on this. At this point so many have geared up and there is an expense that has been laid out for most organizations that if they were to delay this date there would be lost effort and they would have to turn around and do it all over again."