Healthcare News: HHS confirms ICD-10 delay

It’s no longer a mere possibility; HHS has confirmed its intent to delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline, according to its February 16 press release.

“We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the press release. “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 healthcare system.”

It is “premature” to speculate on the rulemaking process or the eventual ICD-10 implementation deadline, a CMS spokesman told HCPro February 16.

The American Medical Association (AMA) supports the delay. “The timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse for physicians as they are spending significant financial and administrative resources implementing electronic health records in their practices and trying to comply with multiple quality and health information technology programs that include penalties for noncompliance,” Peter W. Carmel, MD, president of the AMA, said in a February 16 press release.
 
Though the new deadline remains unclear, CMS previously confirmed CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner’s statement that the agency will use the rulemaking process when revisiting the ICD-10 implementation timeline. The rulemaking process can be lengthy, so it may well be awhile before a firm date is established.
 
For those who may not be in agreement that a long delay—or any at all—may be the best course of action, continue to monitor the rulemaking and take advantage of any comment period.
 
“Make CMS well aware of the facts regarding your current ICD-10 progress and the overwhelming burdens that any delay would create,” said Debbie Mackaman, RHIA, CHCO, regulatory specialist for HCPro, Inc., in Danvers, MA.
 
In the meantime, providers are left scratching their heads regarding their own next steps.

Read more on the HCPro website.

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