The two-year delay in implementing the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) code sets has received the final approval from the Obama administration.
After hearing loud complaints from TMA and others, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in early January it would delay the compliance deadline from Oct. 1, 2011, to Oct. 1, 2013. The final rule also pushed back implementation of the 5010 electronic claim form from April 1, 2010, to Jan. 1, 2012.
But soon after taking office, the Obama administration put the implementation schedule on hold to give the new officials time to review it. That review is complete, and the two-year delay remains in effect.
As the January Texas Medicine reported, physicians, health insurance companies, claims clearinghouses, and other stakeholders supported the transition from the current ICD-9 code set, which includes 17,000 codes, to ICD-10, which has some 155,000 codes. But they all warned that pushing to implement the new codes by the original October 2011 deadline could lead to chaos.
Kerry Weems, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said at the time that the agency had received more than 3,000 comments on the new codes. Many of them asked for more time for implementation, citing costs, the need to train health care personnel, and to ensure ample time for testing between trading partners.
TMA joined the American Medical Association in opposing the 2011 implementation date. TMA, AMA, and other state medical associations sent HHS a letter proposing at least 36 months to adopt and implement the 5010 rule. The letter also called for a delay in adoption of ICD-10 of at least 60 months following publication of the 5010 rule, and until at least 95 percent of the industry is successfully using the 5010 standard.
Action , March 16, 2009