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CMS may be tipping its hand on ICD-10 start date of Oct. 1, 2015

Last month, Congress pushed back the ICD-10 compliance date by at least a year, saying it could not occur before Oct. 1, 2015.

The legislators didn't set the exact start date, however, and so far, neither has the CMS. That uncertainty has put a lot of healthcare providers in ICD-10 planning limbo.

But a massive new CMS-proposed rule released Wednesday that largely deals with the inpatient prospective payment system includes at least four references to ICD-10, implying the new compliance date is Oct. 1, 2015.

For example, in a section on the hospital value-based purchasing program, page 648, the proposed rule discusses the date as if it were an established fact, “The ICD-10-CM/PCS (clinical modification/procedural coding system) transition is scheduled to take place on October 1, 2015.”

Later, on page 1,065, in a section on the reporting of clinical quality measures, it says, “ICD-10 will officially be implemented on Oct. 1, 2015.”

So far, it's not possible to determine whether these date references were simply a matter of brain strain by writers of a 1,688-page rule, or if they could be interpreted as a tipping of CMS' hand that it intends to reset the ICD-10 upgrade to the earliest date legally possible.

I've been told to “stay tuned.”

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn


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