News in Brief: Week of March 12-16

March 14, 2012 05:00 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Majority of Survey Respondents See Downside in ICD-10 Delay

Results of a recent survey -- taken to measure industry reaction to HHS' decision last month to delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline -- showed that a majority of respondents thought the delay would increase costs of ICD-10 implementation and do little to improve industry readiness.

The survey was conducted by Edifecs Inc., a private health care software company. The firm surveyed more than 50 health care professionals actively involved in their organizations' ICD-10 transition who attended the 2012 ICD-10 Summit Edifecs hosted Feb. 15-17 in Cape Coral, Fla.

According to the report(, nearly half of respondents said a one-year delay would increase costs between 11 percent and 25 percent; 37 percent of respondents estimated a 50 percent cost increase. In addition, 64 percent of respondents said the delay would not improve readiness because organizations would slow down their implementation processes; 36 percent said a delay would improve readiness and allow more time for testing.

According to Edifecs, physicians and other health care professionals accounted for 18 percent of those attending the conference. Commercial health care payers, including Blue Cross-Blue Shield plans, made up 50 percent of attendees; Medicaid and other government entities accounted for 9 percent. Clearinghouses and other health care organizations made up the remaining 23 percent. Survey responses were voluntary and anonymous.

Learn About Essentials of Medicare Preventive Services

CMS will hold a national provider call to address issues related to Medicare preventive services on March 28 from 2:30-3 p.m. EDT.

CMS experts will discuss details about the Medicare annual wellness visit and the health risk assessment requirement that was added on Jan. 1, 2012, as well as Medicare's initial preventive physical exam, also referred to as the "Welcome to Medicare" exam.

Presenters will discuss who is eligible for the services, who can provide the services and how physicians must code the visits to ensure payment. CMS specifically invites physicians and other health care professionals, as well as medical billers and coders, to participate in the call.

Registration( for the call is now open and will close at noon EDT on the day the call is scheduled. Presentation materials will be available at least one day before the call. In addition, CMS will e-mail materials to all registrants on the day of the call.

Report Spells Out Role of Health IT in Care Coordination

The eHealth Initiative released a report on March 9 that lays out the organization's recommendations on how physicians and other health care professionals can best use health information technology to improve the coordination of health care delivery.

The 80-page report, Laying a Foundation for Care Coordination: The Role of Health IT, is available free( from the organization's website.

Report authors suggest that health IT should, among other things, provide access to real-time patient data, support the creation and sharing of a patient care plan, present health care information in a format that is meaningful to patients and health care professionals, and facilitate the health care decision-making process.

The Washington-based eHealth Initiative is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of high quality health care through the use of health IT.