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5010 Deadline Extended, But Threat Remains, Says AMA

Greg Freeman for HealthLeaders Media, February 6, 2012

MGMA's research suggests that the critical coordination among many practices and their trading partners to attain 5010 compliance has not yet occurred, says Susan Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, MGMA president and CEO. "In particular, the study results highlight the fact that external testing with health plans is significantly delayed," Turney says. "It is imperative that HHS take immediate steps to ensure that practice operations are not compromised due to cash flow disruption."

Below are some key findings of the MGMA study: 

  • Practice management system software ­vendors. Only about three-quarters (76.8%) of study respondents have heard from the practice management system software vendors regarding the transition to 5010, and only 35% of respondents indicate that internal testing has begun. Almost one-quarter (21.7%) of respondents report that internal testing with their practice management system vendor has not yet been scheduled.
  • Health plans. Just 5.7% of respondents indicate that all their major health plans have contacted them, and just 35% of respondents report that some of their major health plans have contacted them. Only 15% of those surveyed report that external testing has started with all of their major health plans, and 15.3% report that testing has started with some of their major health plans. Twenty-seven percent report that external testing has not yet been scheduled.
  • Contingency plans. Physician practices were asked about their contingency plans following the January 1 compliance date. A third (33.3%) expect to establish a line of credit at a local financial institution; 35.6% are planning on setting aside cash reserves to sustain operations, and more than half (50.6%) report that they plan to revert to paper claims in an attempt to avoid cash flow issues.
  • Current implementation status. Just 4.5% of surveyed practices rate their 5010 ­implementation ­status as fully complete, 50% rate it as between 26% and 99% complete, and 40% report their current implementation status as less than onequarter complete.
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