On Tuesday, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging HHS to "quickly and decisively" set a new compliance deadline for implementing ICD-10 code sets, Healthcare IT News reports (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 2/21).
U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.
Last week, Sebelius announced that HHS will begin a process to delay the Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards. Sebelius did not say when the new deadline would be (iHealthBeat, 2/21).
Details of CHIME Letter
In its letter, CHIME -- which represents 1,400 CIOs and 70 health IT vendors and service firms -- said that delaying the ICD-10 compliance deadline "will create more problems" than it will solve.
The letter states, "Every day that passes without a concrete deadline is another day that should have been spent planning and implementing this critical undertaking" (Mearian, Computerworld, 2/22).
Although Sebelius' announcement indicated that different segments of the health care industry could face different ICD-10 compliance deadlines, CHIME expressed concern about such an approach.
The organization said that ensuring a smooth ICD-10 transition means that "all segments of the provider community need to be in lockstep" (Healthcare IT News, 2/21).
However, if HHS decides to stagger the compliance deadlines, CHIME recommended an earlier deadline for health insurers and a later deadline for health care providers. Such a timeline would give health care providers a "needed" chance to test ICD-10 transactions with insurers, CHIME said (Daly, Modern Healthcare, 2/22).