With ICD-10 Confidence still Low, Some Doctors are Thinking Retirement

According to a recently conducted survey from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) of 936 respondents, ICD-10 preparation levels is currently quite dismal. If ICD-10 proves to be as financially disastrous as anticipated, physicians will be driven to retire earlier. Approximately 46% of physicians aged 61 or older are more likely to retire early in response to claims being denied due to ICD-10. While 34% of physicians aged 40 and younger are more likely to terminate or renegotiate plan contracts following ICD-10.
Only 46% report physicians within their practice have taken ICD-10 preparation courses or have completed training initiatives. Over half of solo practitioners state they are “not at all confident” regarding their ICD-10 preparation, while only 10% of physicians say they are “very confident” their practice is ready for the switch. Nonetheless, most physicians anticipate major delays and denials in claims payment with ICD-10 and have various plans in place to handle these issues.

In response to cash flow problems, 36% of physicians confirm they will draw personal funds to fund current practice operations and 32% of physicians say they plan to either reduce staff or reduce their benefits. Regarding financial planning efforts, 48% of physicians have set aside funds and/or secured a line of credit. Minimizing the anticipated financial blows to the revenue cycle is indeed a complicated and imperative issue, practices will need to continue training staff and make contingency plans. With all of this time spent preparing for the ICD-10 switch, the question remains as to whether current strategies are as beneficial as they seem and also, "Will the quality of care become compromised as the struggle to stay afloat endures?"

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