Healthcare Business News
CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner

ICD-10 extensions likely won't be announced at HIMSS

By Joseph Conn
Posted: February 25, 2014 - 4:30 pm ET

Announcements of time extensions for two key federal health information technology programs likely will not be announced when CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner gives her keynote speech Thursday at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society convention in Orlando, Fla., a HIMSS official said.

“We're not expecting any announcements Thursday from the administration” about changing compliance dates on ICD-10, Tom Leary, vice president of government relations for HIMSS, said at a news briefing Monday. But “they're looking at all possibilities or contingencies” for those who might not achieve ICD-10 compliance, he said.

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There has been mounting calls from various healthcare organizations for the CMS to create some flexibility in the looming, Oct, 1 nationwide launch of the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision family of diagnostic and procedural codes and the now ongoing Stage 2 requirements of the electronic health record incentive payment program.

A glimmer of hope that something might happen Thursday on those fronts arose from comments made Sunday during a panel discussion by CMS official Robert Tagalicod at a pre-conference symposium hosted by the Colleges of Healthcare Information Management Executives. Tagalicod, the director of the Office of E-Health Standards and Services at the CMS, when asked for a response to CHIME's request for flexibility, plugged Tavenner's Thursday keynote, adding that discussions regarding relief may be made “a little clearer” then.

Leary said he is pleased government officials are listening to industry concerns about ICD-10 and have responded to a call by multiple industry groups for Medicare to test with providers the ICD-10 readiness of its own claims processing systems. A first round of testing scheduled in early March and another round of more robust “end-to-end” testing slated for July signal progress in responding to industry concerns, Leary said.

Tavenner will be the first CMS administrator to give a keynote address at the annual gathering of the trade group for the healthcare information technology industry.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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