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Feds to Postpone ICD-10 Implementation Date

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Department of Health and Human Services recently announced it will delay the Oct. 1, 2013, compliance date for transitioning to the ICD-10 procedural and diagnostic coding set, according to an HHS news release.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a new compliance date will be determined as HHS and CMS go through a formal rulemaking process, although dates were not provided. "ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our healthcare system," Secretary Sebelius said in the release. "We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work through the rulemaking process, with the provider community, to re-examine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our healthcare system."

In 2008, a proposed rule stated the ICD-10 compliance date would be Oct. 1, 2011. In Jan. 2009, HHS issued a final rule pushing the date back to Oct. 1, 2013. This will now be the second delay of ICD-10.

The American Medical Association has been the most outspoken critic of the ICD-10 compliance date. The AMA recently lobbied to Congress and HHS to push back the "go-live" date, calling the ICD-10 initiative expensive and conflicting with other projects.

However, the American Health Information Management Association and several other HIM groups have urged hospitals and other providers to not suspend efforts on their ICD-10 timeframes. "We need to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal of ICD-10 implementation," said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon in a news release (pdf). "There are tremendous long-term benefits that will come from the use of a 21st century classification system, such as ICD-10, to both healthcare providers and patients."

Related Articles on ICD-10:

CMS to "Re-Examine" ICD-10 Timeline

The War Over ICD-10

5 Areas of Risk in the ICD-10 Conversion

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