Race To Icd-10 In Healthcare Outsourcing


by AudreyB - Date: 2010-10-16 - Word Count: 502 Share This!

Healthcare organizations are running a race against time to achieve ICD-10 compliance in medical billing outsourcing, and some outsourcing companies are revving up their offerings to ensure that they'll be there to meet the demand of companies looking to outsource conversion.

On the 23rd of September, Indian outsourcing company HCL Technologies (NSE:HCLTECH) announced a partnership with Health Language, Inc. (HLI), in offering ICD-10 conversion solutions. The two companies will be working in tandem towards moving healthcare companies from ICD-9 to ICD-10 before the October 1, 2013 deadline in the US. HCL Technologies will be utilizing the HLI's Scalable Language Engine in order to in order to perform the coding and conversion.

Not to be left behind, business process outsourcing provider, SOURCECORP, announced on the 27th of September that they too are launching a new service which will help healthcare organizations to migrate to ICD-10.

While companies offering ICD-10 conversion services are increasing, outlook towards being able to achieve full conversion by the deadline remains sketchy at best. According to Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY) Chief Solutions Architect for Healthcare and Life Sciences Rajiv Sabharwal last June, many organizations are foreseeing that by the 2013 deadline, conversion towards ICD-10 will still be incomplete.

Of those organizations that have embarked down the ICD-10 trail, thus far by most accounts payers have been leading the charge. But making matters a bit more chaotic, last month Deloitte consultants said that a significant chunk of their clients are finding that as they move from impact assessment into actual remediation, the ICD-10 project is more complex and more expensive than they expected - so much so, in fact, that some of those payers have adjusted expectations for ICD-10 downward from strategic to pragmatic and are just looking to comply.

According to the most recent HIMSS survey this year on 5010 Readiness Survey, 60% of its members had not even started preparing for conversion.

Nearly half of respondents reported that one of the major challenges that they faced with achieving 5010 in the correct time frame was finding knowledgeable staff. Nearly half also identified that they didn't have enough information about 5010. The same percent (47 percent) reported concerns about the ability of their vendor to deliver 5010 compliant software in time to allow for adequate testing. Only one third indicated funding as a major challenge.

The topic of ICD-10 conversion also featured heavily in a healthcare outsourcing conference last August, wherein the significance of the opportunity that the ICD-10 conversion deadline was stressed among healthcare outsourcers, and where Infinit-O co-founder, Richard Eldridge, commented that, "There is tremendous opportunity currently in the healthcare outsourcing vertical."

Taking into account the pressure of the deadline and the number of organizations that need to complete the requirement, and given the number of companies that have yet to even start, the deal pipeline for outsourcing projects in the healthcare outsourcing space will only increase as the deadline approaches, especially by the beginning of the next year, 2012.

Whether you're a healthcare outsourcing provider or a healthcare organization, the race is certainly on to get it done.

Related Tags: medical billing outsourcing, icd-10, healthcare outsourcing

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