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Coalition urges CMS to promptly set new ICD-10 deadline

Coalition urges CMS to promptly set new ICD-10 deadline

By Joseph Conn
Posted: April 16, 2014 - 1:00 pm ET

A coalition of healthcare organizations has called on the head of the CMS to quickly adopt a new compliance date for the nationwide adoption of the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural codes.

In legislation signed by President Barack Obama on April 1, Congress banned implementation of ICD-10 before Oct. 1, 2015. The more stringent and voluminous sets of diagnostic and procedural codes previously had been mandated by the feds to be implemented this Oct. 1.

In a two-page letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the Coalition for ICD-10 noted that the law does not establish a firm ICD-10 implementation date, “which makes planning and investment decisions for ICD-10 preparation nearly impossible.”

Coalition member organizations “have already expended an enormous amount of time, effort and resources in preparing for the transition to ICD-10 in accordance with the original timeline given by HHS,” according to the statement. It noted that using CMS' own 2012 estimate, the cost to the healthcare industry of a year's delay could be as much as $6.6 billion.

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“Continued uncertainty relative to the ICD-10 implementation date will add significant demands on limited resources and will measurably increase the overall cost of completing the transition,” according to the group's letter. “We urge that this delay not extend past October 2015 and that HHS announce Oct. 1, 2015, as the new implementation date … as soon as possible.”

The coalition includes America's Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the American Health Information Management Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. Noticeably absent from the list was the American Hospital Association. An AHA representative was unavailable for comment.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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