HHS Finalizes One-Year Delay for Implementation of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS

Posted by Marty Beckman, MA, RHIT, CCS, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
Nosologist/Coding Educator, CentraMed

On August 24, 2012 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will officially delay the implementation date of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS from 10/1/2013 to 10/1/2014. The one-year delay was initially submitted for consideration in a Proposed Rule published on April 17, 2012 based on requests from the American Medical Association (AMA) and other organizations, as well as on survey data showing that some hospitals and providers would not be ready by the original 2013 implementation date.

In addition to a one-year delay, HHS evaluated other suggestions regarding ICD-10. The AMA had formally requested a two-year delay in implementation, but the HHS ultimately rejected this option, believing that the cost of such an extended delay would be too burdensome and would cast doubt in some minds as to the federal government’s true commitment to adopting the new coding system.

Another alternative involved splitting the implementation date by keeping the original date of 10/1/2013 for ICD-10-PCS procedure codes and delaying the adoption of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used by physicians until 2014 or even 2015. The rationale behind this option was that hospitals, with their greater resources, would be in a better position to move forward with ICD-10-PCS, which would at least allow partial compliance with the original implementation date, but still afford small providers extra time to become acclimated to the ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes. However, HHS also rejected this option due to the costs and compliance risks of running dual systems of ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes and ICD-10-PCS procedure codes over an extended period.

Still another suggestion involved skipping over ICD-10 entirely and waiting for ICD-11, but this was dismissed as being unrealistic given that an American clinical modification for ICD-11 would not be ready until at least 2020. After duly evaluating all alternatives, HHS finally decided to stick with its proposal to adopt a one-year delay in implementation, believing that this option, “is most likely to minimize the costs of delay and maximize the benefits to providers who need more time to implement.”

The HHS also announced that it was finalizing the establishment of a unique health plan identifier (HPID) that would save up to $6 billion over a 10-year period by standardizing identification information and reducing the number of misrouted transactions.

More information concerning the one year implementation delay of ICD-10 and the adoption of the unique health plan identifier can be found by consulting the Final Rule published on September 5, 2012, which is linked below:

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