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5 Things to Know About the New ICD-10 Implementation Date

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed the new deadline for the switch to ICD-10 as Oct. 1, 2015. Here are five things to know about the new implementation date and the healthcare industry's response.

1. The law that derailed 2014 implementation. On March 31, the U.S. Senate passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 bill. In addition to providing another sustainable growth rate patch, the bill delayed ICD-10 implementation by at least a year. The bill reads: "The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act." President Barack Obama signed the bill into law shortly after it passed to his desk for review.

2. CMS limited the delay to one year. In February, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner assured HIMSS annual conference attendees that the Oct. 1, 2014 deadline would not budge, but the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 barred CMS for moving forward with implementation this year. CMS remained silent on the update in the ICD-10 saga for nearly on month.

The ICD-10 Coalition, including groups such as the American Health Information Management Association and BlueCross BlueShield Association, signed and sent a letter urging HHS to limit the delay to one-year. At the beginning of May, CMS announced a tentative implementation date of Oct. 1, 2015.  A CMS spokesperson issued the following statement:
"HHS expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning Oct. 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through Sept. 30, 2015."

As CMS works to a final rule, the agency announced the cancellation of end-to-end ICD-10 testing scheduled to take place from July 21 to 25.   

3. Many providers disappointed with the delay. The impending ICD-10 switch sent ripples of unease through the healthcare industry. Surprisingly the delay sparked significant disappointment in providers. An American Health Information Management Association survey found 88 percent of providers to be "disappointed" in regards to the delay. While some providers expressed relief due to the additional time to prepare, much of the disappointment can be traced back to the amount of time and financial investment has gone into planning for the 2014 deadline. A significant portion of large practice, 71 percent of practices with 100 or more physicians, has spent more than $50,000 on ICD-10 preparation thus far. Solo practices have spent an average of $7,719 thus far.

The American Hospital Association recently urged CMS to release its interim final rule as quickly as possible, so the hospital industry would understand how the delay would be implemented, according to an EHR Intelligence report. The American Medical Association, issued a statement reiterating its opposition to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, due to the lack of a long-term SGR solution, and acknowledging the extra time physicians will have to prepare for ICD-10.

4. Most providers are readjusting implementation preparation timelines. More than 60 percent of physician practices responding to a Part B News survey had identified resources, created a project plan and contacted vendors in their preparations for ICD-10, according to a Medical Economics report. The delay caused providers to reevaluate their implementation timelines. More than half of providers will reset their ICD-10 preparation timeline, 22 percent will move forward with their current plan and 6 percent will create an entirely new plan.

5. Providers trust medical associations with implementation information most. The conversation surrounding ICD-10 has multiple voices, sometimes making it difficult to sift through all of the information. Where do healthcare stakeholders turn for their information on implementation of new standards? Here are seven statistics on which sources healthcare leaders place the most trust in, according to the NueMD 2014 ICD-10 Industry Survey.

•    American Medical Association: 28.1 percent
•    Specialty specific medical associations: 19.9 percent
•    Software vendors: 14.1 percent
•    Government: 12.2 percent
•    Peers: 9.9 percent
•    Clearinghouses: 9.3 percent
•    Other: 6.4 percent  

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