CMS Official Says Announcement on New ICD-10 Deadline Imminent

April 25, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, a CMS official said an announcement on the new ICD-10 implementation deadline will be coming soon but declined to give a specific date, HealthLeaders Media reports (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 4/24).


U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.

Earlier this month, President Obama signed into law legislation (HR 4302) that pushes back the ICD-10 compliance date until at least October 2015.

CMS recently updated its website, noting that the agency is “examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon” (iHealthBeat, 4/17).

CMS Comments

During a two-day summit hosted by the American Health Information Management Association, Denise Buenning, deputy director of CMS’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services, told stakeholders, “We were ready” to launch ICD-10 codes. She added, “I think we were as surprised as all of you” about the delay (Gold, FierceHealthIT, 4/24).  

However, Buenning assured stakeholders that CMS has had multiple internal conversations about the delay and that “HHS will be making an announcement shortly” (Buck et al., ICD-10 Monitor, 4/23).

She said the delay will not be a “killer” for health care organizations (Adamopoulos, Becker’s Hospital Review, 4/24)

AHIMA Poll on ICD-10

On Thursday, AHIMA released a poll of meeting attendees that showed 88% were disappointed by the delay.  

The poll also found that:

  • 91% of respondents said ICD-10 should not be implemented in stages, with different provider types having different deadlines;
  • 54% of respondents said the partial code set freeze should stay in place;
  • 50% of respondents expressed an interest in voluntary reporting of ICD-10 codes starting Oct. 1, 2014; and
  • 42% of respondents said their organization has invested more than $1 million on implementation (AHIMA poll, 4/24).

Part B News Survey on ICD-10

A separate survey of health care providers, conducted by Part B News, found that 73% of providers plan to stick with their original ICD-10 implementation plans, despite the delay, EHR Intelligence reports (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 4/24).

The survey found that so far:

  • 60% of providers have created an ICD-10 implementation plan and contacted vendors; and
  • 50% currently are training staff on coding and documentation.

The report also found varying responses about how providers feel about the delay. Specifically:

  • 34% said their organization would have been ready this year but appreciated additional time;
  • 31% said their organization is disappointed with the delay;
  • More than 20% said their organization is frustrated because physicians now might want to delay training; and
  • 13.5% said their organization is happy with the delay because they would not have been ready otherwise (Marbury, Medical Economics, 4/23).

The survey also found that providers are spending less on ICD-10 implementation than predicted by the American Medical Association.

For instance, single physician groups have spent an average of $7,700 on ICD-10, while providers with more than 100 physicians have spent less than $50,000. AMA estimated providers would spend between $200,000 and $8 million to implement the new code set (EHR Intelligence, 4/24).

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