Premier Calls on CMS To Set Oct. 1, 2015, as New ICD-10 Deadline

April 30, 2014 in News

Premier has sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging the agency to quickly set the new ICD-10 implementation deadline for Oct. 1, 2015, Healthcare IT News reports (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 4/29).

Background

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, 4/25).

Details of the Letter

In the letter, Premier’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Blair Childs argued that the new ICD-10 deadline should be Oct. 1, 2015 — the earliest date CMS can set — and that the agency should quickly announce the new deadline.

He detailed how switching to ICD-10 code sets could help “to improve quality while safely reducing costs.”

Childs wrote, “Having more thorough and descriptive data will help our health care industry’s larger transition to rewarding providers for quality of care, resulting in the development of more robust quality measures.” He added, “Additional specificity will also assist in efforts to identify risk under population health efforts. Moreover, it will help place patients in the most appropriate post-acute care setting” (Healthcare IT News, 4/29).

Prior to Oct. 1, 2015, Childs recommended CMS “institute a thorough testing period” and “release the quality measure specifications” to help providers prepare for the transition (Childs, Premier letter, 4/24).

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