CMS Quietly Sets Oct. 1, 2015, as New ICD-10 Implementation Date

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In a nearly 1,700-page proposed rule on fiscal year 2015 inpatient payment policies released Wednesday, CMS appears to have quietly set Oct. 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 implementation deadline, Health Data Management reports (Goedert, Health Data Management, 5/1).

Background

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 means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.

Earlier this month, President Obama signed into law legislation (HR 4302) that pushes back the ICD-10 compliance date until at least October 2015 (iHealthBeat, 4/25). 

Health care stakeholders have been pushing the agency to provide more clarity on the new deadline.

For example, a coalition of health care organizations last month sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging the agency to clarify the ICD-10 implementation deadline as soon as possible.

The group -- which includes the American Health Information Management Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives -- urged the agency not to extend the compliance date beyond October 2015 and to announce Oct. 1, 2015, as the official deadline.

They wrote that coalition members "have already expended an enormous amount of time, effort and resources in preparing for the transition to ICD-10 in accordance with the original timeline given by HHS." They added, "Continued uncertainty relative to the ICD-10 implementation date will add significant demands on limited resources and will measurably increase the overall cost of completing the transition" (iHealthBeat, 4/17).

Details of Proposed Rule

The proposed rule includes a request for comment on the ICD-10 strategy. It states, "The ICD-10-CM/PCS transition is scheduled to take place on Oct. 1, 2015. After that date, we will collect non-electronic health record-based quality measure data coded only in ICD-10-CM/PCS."

CMS is seeking feedback on how "if at all, [it] should adjust performance scoring under the Hospital [Value-Based Purchasing Program] to accommodate quality data coded under ICD-10-CM/PCS, or otherwise ensure fair and accurate comparisons under the Hospital VBP Program once the transition date has passed" (Health Data Management, 5/1).

Editor's Note: The request for comment on the ICD-10 deadline can be found on pages 648-650 of the proposed rule.


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