Nearly half of the 650 hospitals in a recent survey said they will outsource ICD-10 services when the new diagnostic and coding system goes online in October 2015, market research firm Black Book Rankings says.
The Black Book survey found that 19% of hospitals are outsourcing coding already, but that the number is anticipated to grow to 47% of hospitals by the providers polled.
"Transitioning to ICD-10 is a complicated process and hospitals are leaning on the expertise and successes of outsourcing vendors," Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, said in prepared remarks.
"We still operate in an ICD-9 world, complicated by EHR implementations, value-based reimbursement models, compliance issues and optimizing reimbursement; a perfect storm from which outsourcers have the expertise to shield their clients."
The survey found that hospitals strongly rely on outsourcing for a broad array of coding and clinical documentation services. For example 25% of hospitals now outsource clinical documentation audit, review and programming, and that percentage is expected to increase to 71% by the third quarter of 2015, as hospitals adjust to the new codes.
In addition, transcription services are now outsourced by 63% of hospitals and are also expected to grow to more than 70% of providers as the ICD-10 deadline approaches.