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HHS announces intention to delay ICD-10-CM compliance to ‘unspecified’ date
e-Reports, March 5, 2012
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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a delay for the ICD-10-CM implementation date with a timeline that is now “unspecified.” That may buy more time for you to prepare, and the best advice is to continue full speed to comply with ICD-10-CM.

For example, Indiana Medicaid officials issued this statement:

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided no definitive strategy or timeline for a delay in International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) implementation. As such, the Indiana Medicaid migration to ICD-10 remains unaltered.”

Assistant Professor and Program Chair Kathleen Craig, RHIA, CCS, from Ivy Tech Community College, an ICD-10-CM/PCS certified trainer, said, “I encourage everyone in health care to actively take part in learning their ‘roles’ in implementing the new classification system.”

The AMA and others had cautioned CMS that timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse for physicians. Practices are spending significant financial and administrative resources implementing electronic health records (EHRs) and trying to comply with multiple quality and health information technology programs with penalties for noncompliance.

Secretary Sebelius responded, “We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to re-examine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.”

The final rule adopting ICD-10 was published in 2009 setting a compliance date of Oct. 1, 2013 – a delay of two years from the date initially specified in the 2008 proposed rule. Any entity covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 will be required to use the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.

ICD-10 codes provide more robust and specific data that will help improve patient care and enable the exchange of data with the rest of the world that has long been using the new code set.

Craig pointed out that ICD-10 is an important EHR component. “EHRs are moving health care into the 21st Century,” she noted. “It would only make sense to have the data be 21st Century, as well.”

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