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ICD-10 Delay Doesn't Come Without Worries

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 5, 2012

How did payers leave providers alone with their angst and anxiety about ICD-10 and move to a mellower place?

In all fairness, providers face the challenge of a more fragmented market. There are a lot more providers than health plans. It will be a lot tougher for providers, particularly the small ones, to get to a place where they are all compliant at the same time.

But health insurers also experienced their own "oh, wow" moment according to Ray Desrochers, executive vice president at HealthEdge, a software company that specializes in the payer market.

"Originally payers were thinking that they just needed to remediate their core system and call it a day," he explains, "then they realized the complexities of going from 17,000 ICD-9 codes to 155,000 ICD-10 codes. That was the health insurance industry's collective 'oh, wow' moment."

For their part, providers were already fretting about the looming deadline.

To their credit, Desrochers says "payers never took their foot off the gas like some provider organizations." He says payers just rolled along assuming that the ICD-10 deadline would be sorted out one way or the other.

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