Groups Call for ICD-10 Delay; AHIMA Opposes Extension

December 4, 2014 in News

Several regional and national medical associations are calling on Congress to further delay ICD-10 implementation during the current lame duck session, while the American Health Information Management Association is urging lawmakers to keep the current deadline, FierceHealthIT reports (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 12/2).

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.

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

In July, CMS announced a final rule that established Oct. 1, 2015, as the new ICD-10 compliance deadline for payers and providers still making the transition (iHealthBeat, 11/19).

Groups Call for Another Delay

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Texas Medical Association and the National Physicians’ Council for Healthcare Policy asked to delay the ICD-10 implementation until October 2017 (Perna, Healthcare Informatics, 12/2).

The groups urged Boehner to work with House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) “to have this [delay] added to a must-pass piece of legislation during the upcoming Lame Duck Session in 2014″ (Letter, 11/2014).

According to Health Data Management, the American Medical Association and its regional associations are working with Sessions and Upton to add language to a fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill for HHS and the departments of Labor and Education that would grant an additional two-year extension in December.

In addition, members of regional medical societies have been circulating form letters to members to rally support for the delay (Goedert, Health Data Management, 12/2).

For example, the Texas Medical Association is asking its members to join the lobbying campaign, writing, “Please tell Speaker Boehner, [Upton and Sessions] that you want to add the ICD-10 delay to a must-pass piece of legislation during the upcoming 2014 lame duck session” (Natale, Healthcare IT News, 12/2).

AHIMA Reaffirms Commitment to Current Deadline

Meanwhile, AHIMA released an official statement reaffirming its stance that the ICD-10 implementation should not be delayed again (Healthcare Informatics, 12/2).

In November, a coalition of health care groups, including AHIMA, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to ensure that ICD-10 implementation is not delayed (iHealthBeat, 11/19).

In its latest statement, AHIMA said that it “continues to support an Oct. 1, 2015, deadline,” noting that “each delay has cost the industry billions of dollars, as well as the untold costs of lost benefits from implementing a more effective code set.”

If ICD-10 is delayed again, it “will only further deter progress and cost the industry money,” according to the statement.” AHIMA added, “There is no benefit to deferring implementation” (Healthcare Informatics, 12/2).

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