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Hospital Margins in Jeopardy as 5010, ICD-10 Deadlines Loom

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, November 11, 2011
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“When I go to conferences, people are talking about ACO adoption and meaningful use, but ICD-10 isn’t a part of the discussion. The ramification of not doing ACOs and meaningful use is losing your competitive advantage; the consequence of ICD-10 noncompliance is losing solvency,” he says. “Still, when people talk about ICD-10 they say it’s a coding problem, an IT problem … but this is an enterprisewide problem.”

Planning for the worst

Both 5010 and ICD-10 have been likened to Y2K, and like the latter, these transitions create a financial “sky is falling” possibility that should set healthcare leaders on contingency planning alert. However, with so many conflicting priorities competing for capital dollars already, if either of these transitions doesn’t go smoothly and dollars stop coming in the door—even temporarily—providers could be in serious financial trouble, Oriol says.

Landes agrees. “I think right now the most important thing is for people to realize the 5010 date is not going to move. This is not a drill, it’s really happening. And we need to recognize that even if we are prepared for it, other people may not be and that can hurt you financially,” he says. Landes is encouraging his peers to create a financial contingency plan to offset potential losses.

Financial losses are expected. In the HealthLeaders Media ICD-10 Intelligence Report, 46% of survey respondents are anticipating a revenue loss of some kind, and nearly half of those respondents believe their organizations will lose revenue of between 1% and 10%, while 12% project a loss of between
11% and 20%. Many believe that they could lose revenue for two years or more.

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