Rep. Reintroduces Bill To Ban HHS From Implementing ICD-10 Codes

May 5, 2015 in News

Last week, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced legislation (HR 2126) that seeks to halt the implementation of new ICD-10 code sets, EHR Intelligence reports (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/4).

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 by Oct. 1. A recent study found that a majority of health care executives have said they expect ICD-10 to launch by that deadline (iHealthBeat, 5/1).

Legislation Details

The measure, called the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, would prohibit HHS from adopting ICD-10 as a replacement to ICD-9 (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 5/4).

According to EHR Intelligence, the bill is similar to legislation Poe introduced in April 2013, which failed to move out of committee (EHR Intelligence, 5/4). 

The new bill has been referred to the House Committees on:

  • Energy and Commerce; and
  • Ways and Means.

Co-sponsors include Reps.:

  • Blake Farenthold (R-Texas);
  • David Roe (R-Tenn.);
  • Mike Rogers (R-Ala.);
  • Mo Brooks (R-Ala.);
  • Morgan Griffith (R-Va.); and
  • Tom Price (R-Ga.).

In a release, Poe said that the ICD-10 transition “will not make one patient healthier” but rather will “put an unnecessary strain on the medical community who should be focused on treating patients, not implementing a whole new bureaucratic language.” He added, “Instead of hiring one more doctor or nurse to help patients, medical practices are having to spend tens of thousands just to hire a specialist who understands the new codes” (Health Data Management, 5/4).

The Coalition for ICD-10 has come out against any further delays of the implementation deadline and has launched an effort to get consumers to contact their congressional representatives to support the new code sets (EHR Intelligence, 5/4).

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