Organizations React to HHS' Proposed Delay for ICD-10 Compliance


Health IT industry associations have expressed mixed reactions to HHS' release of a proposed rule that would delay the compliance deadline for transitioning to ICD-10 code sets until Oct. 1, 2014, HealthLeaders Media reports (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 4/10).


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.

In February, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that her agency would begin a process to delay for certain health care entities the Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards.

The proposed timeline announced Monday would delay the compliance date by one year.

HHS said it decided to push back the compliance date partly in response to health care providers' concerns that they would not be able to meet the initial deadline.

More details on the proposed ICD-10 compliance delay are available from a CMS fact sheet (iHealthBeat, 4/9).

AMA's Reaction

Peter Carmel -- president of the American Medical Association -- in a statement said, "[AMA] and physicians across the nation appreciate that CMS has proposed delaying the ICD-10 implementation date to Oct. 1, 2014."

He said the delay is the first of many steps officials should take to reduce physicians' regulatory burdens.

AMA still is reviewing the proposed rule and plans to issue formal comments to CMS, Carmel added (HealthLeaders Media, 4/10).

AHIMA's Reaction

The American Health Information Management Association has issued a statement urging health care providers to transition to ICD-10 code sets as soon as possible.

AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said, "Our preference is for no delay in ICD-10 implementation and compliance."

Gordon added that the transition is "inevitable and remains the future for coding" (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 4/10).

MGMA's Reaction

Robert Tennant -- senior policy advisor for government affairs at the Medical Group Management Association -- said MGMA is pleased that officials are considering a one-year extension of the ICD-10 compliance date.

However, he added that MGMA still has concerns that the ICD-10 implementation process is flawed. He said the organization is calling for staggered ICD-10 implementation deadlines and additional pilot testing, as well as ICD-10 compliance certification for claims clearinghouses, health plans and health IT vendors (Goedert, Health Data Management, 4/10).

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