In February this year we heard that Health and Human Services (HHS) was going to delay implementing ICD-10 diagnostic codes (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, or ICD-10). At that time HHS did not announce a new date. You can read more from my related blog post here.
Yesterday, April 9, HHS posted that Healthcare Practitioners and Organizations would have until October 1, 2014 – providing another year for compliance.Change to the Compliance Date for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Medical Data. The deadline was extended in response to physician complaints about the administrative burden of converting to ICD-10.
In 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ordered the change from the ICD-9 code set, which is now in use, to ICD-10, as part of implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The American Medical Association (AMA) would prefer that HHS implements a more physician friendly replacement, however, HHS has spoken…and so it shall be. Public comments about the proposed regulations will be accepted for 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. Submit your comments to be heard.
I’m not yet convinced a change from approximately 13,000 diagnostic codes used today, to more than 68,000 codes are going to “improve the quality of care” and “lead to improved accuracy for reimbursement for medical services, fraud detection, and historical claims and diagnosis analysis.” In my experience, simplification (remember KISS) is the better approach. We shall see.
At least there is some common sense in this decision and gives Healthcare Practitioners a little breathing room. A year goes by very quickly though, so no time to rest for the weary.