The CMS advised payers and providers that it will look for good-faith efforts and steady progress when approaching enforcement of an Oct. 16 deadline for compliance with insurance-related claims-processing standards. The CMS said in a guidance document that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 clearly requires healthcare organizations to send electronic claims transactions in national standard formats by that date. But the government will respond only to complaints, allowing payers and providers to work out their own contingency plans, said Leslie Norwalk, CMS acting deputy administrator. That includes continuing to send claims in nonstandard formats while working on glitch-free exchanges of the complicated new formats, Norwalk said. Providers had feared that aggressive enforcement would disrupt the flow of claims reimbursement and force a wholesale shift to paper claims. HIPAA requires only that electronically submitted claims meet the standards. -- by John Morrissey
CMS promises wiggle room in HIPAA deadline
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