Members of the healthcare industry offered mixed predictions on the fate of the ICD-10 regulation under an extensive regulatory review that was ordered by the Obama administration last week.
ICD-10 back in play
New regulatory review could cause more delays
In a memorandum issued to the heads of executive departments and agencies, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel announced that all regulations that had either not been published or taken legal effect under the Bush administration would be put on hold, subject to a review by the new administrations budget office.
According to the CMS, at least four recent rulemaking could be affected by this action, including a final rule for transitioning to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, or ICD-10.
The rulemaking had been issued on Jan. 15 (Jan. 19, p. 13). Yet, because it doesnt become effective until March 17, it would fall within this additional layer of review by the White House, said Don May, vice president for policy at the American Hospital Association.
The review has the potential to delay what the American Health Information Management Association has been striving for over the past 15 yearsan ICD-10 upgrade. But thats unlikely, said Dan Rode, AHIMAs vice president for policy and government relations. While its true that ICD-10 falls under the jurisdiction of the review, Obama administration officials need to consider whether there should be another comment period on the rule, Rode said. Given the fact that this rule has already gone through this exercise, I dont see that theres a need to go into any additional extensions with ICD-10, he said. In addition, the compliance date for this rule is far enough into the futureOct. 1, 2013that its doubtful the White House review would impact ICD-10s implementation, Rode said.
Nevertheless, some provider groups would welcome a delay in the regulation to buy them more time to prepare. While ICD-10 in the abstract was a good ideato improve providers ability to be more specific in diagnosesthe complexity the new rule adds to the system could cripple some of the healthcare processes were trying to reform, said Jack Lewin, CEO of the American College of Cardiology. The system under this rulemaking is jumping to 87,000 codes from 7,000.
Other CMS rulemaking that may be put on hold as a result of the review 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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