ICD-10 Compliance Delayed 1 Year!

In a proposed rule released, April 9, 2012, HHS announced a one-year required compliance delay for ICD-10 changing the deadline from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. ICD-10, otherwise known as the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, is a new medical code set used to classify diseases and health problems via new procedure and diagnosis code sets. The purposes of ICD-10 are to improve the quality of information needed for quality improvement and payment. ICD-10 replaces the current ICD-9 code set.

The originally scheduled implementation date of October 1, 2013, was adopted in a Final rule released in January 2009 (74 FR 3328, Jan. 16, 2009). The implementation date first came into question on February 16, 2012, when HHS released a statement that the deadline had been delayed because of outcry from the provider and physician communities. Opponents of the deadline, such as the American Medical Association, have argued that “The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients’ care.” Proponents of the original deadline argue that providers have been spending a great amount of time and money to put the proper processes and education in place and that delaying implementation will ultimately cost the providers more in the long run.

In response to these arguments, HHS acknowledges the need for providers to have more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition to these new code sets. They also note that if too large of a delay were issued, the much needed improved accuracy in reimbursement for medical services, fraud detection and historical claims and diagnoses analysis for the health care system would suffer. As a result a compromise has been made and a one-year delay has been proposed, extending the compliance implementation date to October 1, 2014.

Comments are being accepted by HHS for this proposed rule within 30 days of the Proposed rule being published.

Tell us which side of the delay argument you fall on–the opponent or proponent.