Final Rule Delays ICD-10 Deadline, Establishes Health Plan Identifiers

On Friday, HHS released a final rule that would delay the ICD-10 compliance date until Oct. 1, 2014 and implement Health Plan Identifiers, or HPIDs, Modern Healthcare reports (Modern Healthcare, 8/24).

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement said, "These new standards are a part of our efforts to help providers and health plans spend less time filling out paperwork and more time seeing their patients." She noted that the efforts aim to cut health care costs by $6 billion over 10 years.

Background on ICD-10 Delay, HPIDs

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 April, HHS released a proposed rule that would delay the deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards by one year, to Oct. 1, 2014. 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.

The proposed rule also included a provision to establish a unique HPID for all health insurers that would be a standard length and format to facilitate routine use in computer systems (iHealthBeat, 8/9).

Final Rule Details

The newly released rule finalizes the ICD-10 delay and the establishment of HPIDs.

According to HHS, the implementation of HPIDs will "greatly simplify" health care providers' processes for billing health insurers (HHS release, 8/24).

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