ICD-10 Will Likely Be Postponed

Originally set to take effect on October 1, 2013, the ICD-10 medical coding standard will likely be pushed back another year if a proposed rule is implemented.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the proposed rule, which would establish a unique health plan identifier under HIPAA. The rule would also simplify some administrative provisions of the Affordable Care Act. HHS estimates the proposed changes would save $4.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The proposed rule would also delay required compliance for ICD-10 until October 1, 2014. The 10th Edition of the International Classification of Diseases includes new procedures and diagnoses and should improve the quality of information available for quality improvement and payment purposes.

Many have expressed concern about the ability to meet the current compliance date. The delay would give providers more time to fully test their systems to ensure a smooth transition to the new code sets.

Most hospital CIOs support the delay, according to a survey from last month. Of those surveyed, 72% thought the delay was positive; while 28% felt the delay was a step in the wrong direction. Sixty-eight percent believe the health care industry will benefit from the delay. Those against the delay are concerned that the setback will hinder their future efforts to obtain funding. Until a firm deadline is set, 84% of CIOs plan to stay on track rather than reallocate resources.

The proposed rule may be viewed at Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.



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