This week, a coalition of health care organizations sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging the agency to clarify the ICD-10 compliance deadline as soon as possible, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 4/16).
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.
CMS recently updated its website, noting that the agency is “examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon” (iHealthBeat, 4/15).
About the Coalition
The group, called Coalition for ICD-10, includes:
- American Health Information Management Association;
- America’s Health Insurance Plans;
- American Medical Informatics Association;
- Advanced Medical Technology Association;
- BlueCross BlueShield Association;
- College of Healthcare Information Management Executives;
- Health IT Now Coalition;
- Medical Device Manufacturers Association; and
- 3M Health Information Systems (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 4/16).
In the letter, the coalition urged the agency not to extend the compliance date beyond October 2015 and to announce Oct. 1, 2015, as the official deadline (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 4/16).
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” (Modern Healthcare, 4/16).
In a statement accompanying the letter, AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon wrote that preparation is “extraordinarily difficult” without a firm deadline, adding, “The announcement of the new implementation date will give the industry the clarity necessary to prepare in the most cost-effective, prudent and strategic way” (FierceHealthIT, 4/16).