Healthcare Business News

Obama team puts new, pending regulations on hold; review planned

By Jennifer Lubell
Posted: January 21, 2009 - 4:45 pm ET

HHS’ implementation of ICD-10 and several other rules issued last week could potentially be delayed, as the White House proceeds with a review of any new or pending regulations issued under the Bush administration.

A memorandum released by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has “put a hold on all regulations that have either not been published or those that have not yet taken legal effect,” a CMS spokesman said.

Although the CMS has yet to produce a list of the affected regulations, it’s likely that at least four recent rulemakings could be put on hold, including HHS’ final rule for transitioning to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, the spokesman said.

The final rule for implementing ICD-10 CM (Clinical Modification) and ICD-10 PCS (Procedure Coding System) was issued on Jan. 15. However, the rule itself “doesn’t become effective until March 17, which means the ICD-10 regulation would fall within this additional layer of review” by the White House, said Don May, vice president for policy with the American Hospital Association. ICD-10’s compliance deadline isn’t scheduled to take effect until Oct. 1, 2013.

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“We will be working with the new administration in their effort to review actions and regulations subject to the memo,” the CMS spokesman said.

Other recent rules that may be put on hold include an interim final rule to identify protected classes of prescription drugs under Medicare Part D; a proposed rule to make improvements to the cervical cancer proficiency testing program; and another interim final rule that addresses steps to restart the CMS’ competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies.

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