New ICD-10 implementation deadline set-maybe

Language in a new CMS rule implies that October 1, 2015, is now the date for using the new coding system.

October 1, 2015 appears to be the new deadline by which medical practices will have to start using the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision-clinical management (ICD-10-CM) coding system.

Buried deep within a rule the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued on April 30 is the statement, “The ICD-10-CM/PCS [procedure coding system] transition is scheduled to take place on October 1, 2015. After that date, we will collect nonelectronic health record-based quality measure data coded only in ICD-10-CM/PCS. Much of the rest of the nearly 1,700-page rule concerns setting hospital and long-term inpatient care payment rates and rules for fiscal 2015.”

In a subsequent statement to Health Data Management, CMS confirmed it was seeking approval for the new deadline. The statement read in part, "...the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.”

The new deadline is the third since CMS first mandated use of ICD-10-CM in 2009. The original deadline of October, 2013 was first extended to October of 2014. Then last month, as part of legislation to forestall a drastic cut in Medicare reimbursements under the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, Congress inserted language postponing ICD-10-CM implementation until at least October 1, 2015. 

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which had opposed extending the October 2014 deadline, said in a written statement, “AHIMA would like to see implementation move forward as quickly as possible with an Oct. 1, 2015 deadline. However, we notice a provision in the proposed IPPS rule (on page 128) that notes ‘as of now, the Secretary has not implemented this provision under HIPAA.’ AHIMA and its coalition partners urge CMS to act quickly to announce a new compliance date that does not extend beyond October 1, 2015.”

Next: Response from the AMA


American Medical Association (AMA) President Ardis D. Hoven, MD, said in a prepared statement: "While the AMA did not support the legislation that extended the ICD-10 deadline because it failed to reform Medicare’s flawed payment formula, we believe a delay would have been inevitable for a coding system that has not completed end-to-end testing. The postponement will give physicians extra time to work with vendors on necessary system updates, train their staff, and test the ICD-10 changes with payers, clearinghouses and others. The AMA calls on the industry to use the extra time to conduct more robust and widespread testing on all aspects of ICD-10, including its application in reimbursement and quality reporting systems. We continue to harbor deep concerns about the burden this transition places on physicians, the complexity of ICD-10, the high risk of disruptions to Medicare claims and the industry’s capability of converting to ICD-10 on a single date.”

Related coverage

SGR and ICD-10's aftershock: Gauging the impact on your income and practice          

ICD-10 Training: Detailing patient encounters

ICD-10 delay will cost practices more money, survey says 

ICD-10 Training: Start with a plan


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