Feds Reject Request to Delay ICD-10

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials rejected organized medicine's request to delay implementation of the ICD-10 coding system. That means the new coding system will take effect Oct. 1, 2014.

CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a letter to American Medical Association President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, that a previously granted one-year extension gave physicians "adequate time to train their coders, complete system changeovers, and conduct testing." She said further delay "would fundamentally alter a policy the health care industry has been working since 2009 to implement. ICD-10 is not only the foundation for health care reform, but is a cornerstone of several integrated programs that build toward a modernized health care system and work in concert to achieve better care, better health, and lower costs."

In December, TMA joined AMA and other state medical societies to ask CMS to stop the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and work with all interested parties to find a better replacement for ICD-9. They said ICD-10 "will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care and will compete with other costly transitions associated with quality and health IT reporting programs." They added that switching to ICD-10 will cost a medical practice anywhere from $83,290 to $2.7 million, depending on the size of the practice, and will disrupt physicians' efforts to implement health information technology and participate in new delivery and payment reform models.

Because of the CMS decision, you must begin preparing for ICD-10 now if you haven't already. TMA has a variety of ways to help physicians prepare. They include:

You can start by watching the short TMA video, "Doctor, What's Your Role in Transitioning to ICD-10?"

Coming soon is an ICD-10 Transition Toolkit that will guide you through learning, planning, organizing, implementing, and analyzing the ICD-10 transition. It will include the tools – budgets, organization surveys, and impact assessments – you need for a successful transition. TMA also will offer three live seminars that provide an overview of ICD-10 and code structure, discuss the five phases of ICD-10 transition, and examine the impact on physician practices. Attendees will learn the important aspects of ICD-10 documentation and coding, how to engage physicians in the transition process, and how to get started preparing for and executing your transition plan. Future issues of Action will have more information.

In addition, TMA Practice Consulting offers a variety of services to help ensure your reimbursement doesn't suffer during the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition. Contact TMA Practice Consulting by telephone at (800) 523-8776 or by email.

Physicians should also check the CMS ICD-10 website for the latest information.


Action, March 1, 2013


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