Rep. Introduces Bill for Transition Period After ICD-10 Implementation

May 14, 2015 in News

On Monday, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill (HR 2247) that would require a transition period following the implementation of new ICD-10 code sets, EHR Intelligence reports.

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.

Bill Details

The bill, called the Increasing Clarity for Doctors by Transitioning Effectively Now — or ICD-TEN — Act, would require HHS to conduct 18 months of testing to ensure that the Medicare fee-for-service claims systems work effectively with the ICD-10 codes.

After that period, HHS would be required to submit to Congress a report detailing whether implementation has been successful (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/14). Specifically, HHS would have to show that it is processing as many claims as it had using ICD-9 (Dimick, “Journal of AHIMA,” 5/13).

If Congress were to determine that ICD-10 implementation was not “functional” at that time, the bill would direct HHS to develop additional measures to improve the code set’s functionality (EHR Intelligence, 5/14).

The bill would not seek to halt or delay implementation. It also would not require CMS to accept dual coding (“Journal of AHIMA,” 5/13).

Black in a letter to Congress wrote, “During the ICD-10 transitional period, it is essential for CMS to ensure a fully functioning payment system and institute safeguards that prevent physicians and hospitals from being unfairly penalized due to coding errors” (EHR Intelligence, 5/14).

CMS Urges Doctors To Prepare for ICD-10

In related news, CMS officials are urging physicians to prepare for the ICD-10 transition by using federal resources that are available to them, CQ HealthBeat News reports.

CMS Deputy Administrator Sean Cavanaugh said he expects the ICD-10 transition to go on as scheduled, noting that there “are plenty of tools to help [providers] get ready.”

He noted that CMS:

  • Offers no-cost billing software; and
  • Has compiled resources, such as videos, to assist with the transition.

In addition, CMS plans to complete 221 training sessions with small practices by July, according to CQ HealthBeat News (Young, CQ HealthBeat News, 5/13).

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