Stakeholder organizations have started responding to HHS' final rule to delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline by one year and implement unique Health Plan Identifiers, or HPIDs, Healthcare IT News reports (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 8/27).
About the Final Rule
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 month, HHS released a final rule that officially delayed the ICD-10 compliance date until Oct. 1, 2014. The final rule also implemented unique HPIDs for all health insurers that are a standard length and format to facilitate routine use in computer systems (iHealthBeat, 8/24).
Lynne Thomas Gordon -- CEO of the American Health Information Management Association -- in a statement said that HHS' decision to finalize the ICD-10 compliance date provides the health care industry with the "certainty and clarity it needs to move forward with implementation, testing and training."
Melanie Endicott -- director of health information management solutions at AHIMA -- noted that the association has never fully supported efforts to delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline. However, she added, "since there is a delay, we're glad it's just one year."
Rich Correll -- president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives -- in a statement said that CHIME "applauds the efforts of HHS to quickly and decisively signal a commitment to ICD-10 conversion."
Correll also called for HHS to "develop a clear path forward, with benchmarks, so that health care industry stakeholders can make the conversion [to ICD-10] in 2014 (Healthcare IT News, 8/27).
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in a statement said that HHS' decision to delay the ICD-10 compliance date until October 2014 "provides clarity that will allow organizations to properly allocate their resources to meet the new deadline."
HIMSS added that it "supports active participation by all community partners in preparation for the ICD-10 transition" (Conn , Modern Healthcare, 8/27).
Susan Turney -- president and CEO of MGMA-ACMPE, formerly the Medical Group Management Association -- in an e-mailed statement said that her organization "remains concerned that [CMS] has mandated this new [ICD-10] code set without having undertaken the necessary due diligence to ensure it will not create debilitating cash-flow disruptions for physician practices."
She added that MGMA-ACMPE is "not confident that critical trading partners, including Medicare and state Medicaid plans, will be ready in time to conduct testing" of the ICD-10 code sets before the October 2014 compliance deadline. Turney called for CMS to "significantly escalate its implementation efforts" by developing ICD-10 educational resources, piloting the new code sets and ensuring that health plans, clearinghouses and vendors are prepared for the new deadline.
Also in her emailed statement, Turney said that federal officials might have fallen short on the HPID provisions of the final rule by not requiring insurers to have unique HPIDs for individual health insurance policies (Conn , Modern Healthcare, 8/27).
She wrote that MGMA-ACMPE is "disappointed that CMS missed a significant administrative simplification opportunity to create true claims revenue cycle transparency with the Health Plan Identifier rule. By not requiring health plans to enumerate at a more granular level, physicians will continue to face the burden of manually identifying these entities" (Goedert, Health Data Management, 8/24).