With this debate going on for long, whether to stop ICD-10 implementation, delay it, or bring no change to its implementation date, the decision has finally come into effect.
The ICD-10 implementation date will indeed be postponed, the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Feb. 16. The agency stated that it “will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).”
“ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our health care system,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. ”We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead,” Sebelius said. “We are committing to work with the provider community to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.”
The announcement followed hints that CMS was planning a pushback. On Feb. 14, acting CMS administrator Marilynn Tavenner said she intended to “re-examine the pace at which we implement ICD-10,” which would require the agency to go through the standard federal rulemaking process. Tavenner made her comments to great applause at the American Medical Association’s National Advocacy Conference, attendees said.
The new date: Neither the HHS nor CMS has announced just how much of a delay will take place, but physicians are pleased that they’ll benefit from some additional time to implement the new diagnosis coding system.
To read Sebelius’s statement, visit www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/02/20120216a.html.