Most office-based physician practices have not yet taken crucial steps to convert to HIPAA 5010 data-transmission standards, according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 3/30).
HHS has set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2012, for using HIPAA 5010 transaction sets, which regulate the transmission of certain health care transactions (iHealthBeat, 3/14).
Industry guidelines state that hospitals and medical practices should have installed and tested upgrades with external business partners by Jan. 1, 2011 (Modern Healthcare, 3/30).
According to the survey, about 22% of respondents indicated that their current software would allow them to accommodate 5010 standards. Meanwhile, about 23% of respondents said they were unsure what needed to be done with their software to prepare for the 5010 transition (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 3/31).
The survey also found that:
- 56% of respondents said they had not scheduled internal testing;
- 34% of respondents said they were “confident” they would be ready by the 5010 conversion deadline; and
- About 5% of respondents said they were testing the flow of transactions to their trading partners.
Robert Tennant — senior policy adviser to MGMA — said, “What we’re trying to do is raise awareness in our membership” and encourage vendors to reach out to MGMA members (Modern Healthcare, 3/30).
William Jessee — president and CEO of MGMA — said, “Practice management system vendors provide the foundation for the groups’ ability to meet this latest government mandate,” adding, “We strongly encourage these vendors to promptly reach out to their physician practice customers to communicate what upgrades and replacements are necessary”