,p style=”background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% white;”>Yesterday, CMS announced a final rule that establishes Oct. 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 compliance deadline for payers and providers still making the transition, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 7/31).
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.
In April, President Obama signed into law legislation (HR 4302) that pushes back the ICD-10 compliance date until at least October 2015.
In May, CMS confirmed that HHS would release an interim final rule that will set the new ICD-10 compliance deadline as Oct. 1, 2015 (iHealthBeat, 6/12).
Final Rule Details
The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 4 and finalizes Oct. 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 compliance deadline, Health Data Management reports.
In addition, the rule requires payers and providers to use ICD-9-CM through Sept. 30, 2015.
In a release, CMS said the rule would give “providers, insurance companies and others in the health care industry time to ramp up their operations to ensure their systems and business processes are ready to go on Oct. 1, 2015.”
Although CMS estimated the one-year delay will cost HIPAA-covered organizations $1.1 billion to $6.8 billion, the agency concluded it is the “least costly and most fiscally responsible way to implement the requirements of section 212 of [the Protecting Access to Medicare Act]” (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 8/1).
In addition, CMS noted that “extending the delay beyond one year could render current ICD-10 system updates and releases obsolete, which would diminish the investments stakeholders have already made to prepare for the ICD-10 transition” (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 7/31).
The American Health Information Management Association in a statement applauded the deadline finalization, stating, “Now everyone in the health care community has the necessary certainty to move forward with their implementation processes, including testing and training” (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 8/1).
AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon noted, “As a long-time supporter of ICD-10, AHIMA is pleased that patients and other stakeholders will soon experience the benefits of a modern and robust coding system with greater specificity about diagnoses and procedures” (FierceHealthIT, 7/31).
Meanwhile, Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association, argued, “Despite the additional time, facing multiple federal quality reporting requirements and an uncertain payment environment, practices may continue to experience challenges with software upgrades, workflow modification and staff training” (Modern Healthcare, 7/31).