Although the compliance deadline has been pushed back by two years to 2013, the long-awaited and, by all accounts, expensive and difficult transition to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, codes sets has officially begun.
HHS has released the final rule for implementing ICD-10 CM (Clinical Modification) and IC10-PCS (Procedure Coding System), pushing back by two years the compliance deadline from Oct. 1, 2011, in the proposed rule to Oct. 1, 2013. The proposed rule was issued last August and presented for public comments, which apparently impacted the deadline change.
The ICD-10 conversion rule came in a 185-page amendment to the rules covering transactions and codes sets under the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It noted that "most commenters disagreed" with the earlier compliance date, "stating that it did not provide adequate time for industry to train coders and complete systems changeovers and testing."
In companion rulemaking, HHS also posted a final rule covering an upgrade from the X12 Version 4010 [A1] data-transmission standards in current use to Version 5010[A2] , which is a prerequisite to an ICD-10 conversion because those codes are larger and more complex than ICD-9 codes.
The proposed rule on 5010 also released last August called for an Oct. 1, 2010, deadline for conversion to the 5010 transactions standards. In the final rule, HHS settled on Jan. 1, 2012, for compliance with the 5010 standards. -- by Joseph Conn