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For Hospital CFOs, ICD-10 Delay a Costly Disappointment

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2014

Last week's surprise delay of ICD-10 implementation is a lose-lose-lose proposition for provider organizations: Costs will rise, physicians are likely to disengage, and the clinical benefits will be put off.

When the news broke early last week that the Senate passed and the president signed legislation that included a one-year delay for ICD-10 implementation, I could almost hear the collective groan coming from the healthcare finance community.

I have had many conversations about ICD-10 with CFOs and senior-level finance executives at provider organizations over the last 12 months. No one was expecting—or even hoping for—another delay, so I was sure the postponement to October 1, 2015, was unwelcome news to a lot of people.

When I checked in last week with several hospital and health system finance leaders, their reactions were exactly what I expected: frustration, disappointment, and concern over cost implications.

"To us it means increased cost," says Gary Akenberger, senior vice president, finance at ProMedica, a Toledo, OH-based health system with 2,268 licensed inpatient beds.

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