He says the previous delay to ICD-10 implementation in 2012 was done so far in advance that providers had yet to spend a lot of money on the project. "Now a lot of organizations have command centers and teams dedicated to this and they have already invested in training resources, all of which is in place for Oct. 1. What do you do with all of that? Shut it all down? That would be very expensive."
Tennant says the federal government needs to prepare some sort of contingency plan or a rollback for ICD-10 if the Oct. 1 deadline proves to be untenable. "They have to do something quickly rather than wait until the ninth hour and announce something in late September. Better to do it now to prepare for the transition," he says.
"They frankly haven't even created an environment where physicians are confident about why the government is moving toward this new code set. There is no evidence to suggest that it improves clinical performance. There is no evidence that there is a return on investment which is staggering when you consider the cost of this for practices. What we have learned in the last few months is that you have to be ready for major transitions. And if you're not, they must be put on hold."