WEDI Sends ICD-10 Roadmap to HHS Following Compliance Delay

June 6, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius outlining steps the agency should take to improve the transition to ICD-10, Healthcare IT News reports (Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, 6/5).

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.

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

In May, CMS confirmed that HHS plans to soon release an interim final rule that will set the new ICD-10 compliance deadline as Oct. 1, 2015 (iHealthBeat, 6/3).

Letter Details

The letter details a high-level roadmap for HHS based on stakeholder feedback collected during an emergency summit convened by WEDI in April following the transition delay (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 6/5).

In the letter, WEDI urged HHS to:

  • Publicly share Medicare and Medicaid readiness for ICD-10;
  • Speed up, support and expand industry ICD-10 testing;
  • Expand education and support for health care providers about ICD-10;
  • Reach out specifically to non-covered entities about ICD-10;
  • Conduct or support ICD-10 pilot testing; and
  • Create clear milestones and track entities’ readiness (Healthcare IT News, 6/5).

WEDI Chair Jim Daley noted that the organization is “concerned that if the implementation actions continue as is with the new compliance date, the industry could experience ongoing challenges leading to protracted implementation and unnecessary burden and cost” (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 6/5).

He added, “We believe the canceling of the limited July ‘end-to-end’ testing sent the wrong message to the industry. Rather than delay this critical form of testing until 2015, we recommend expediting and expanding this form of trading partner testing” (Health Data Management, 6/5).

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