HHS Proposes ICD-10 Delay to Oct. 1, 2014
The nation will switch to the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) Oct. 1, 2014 rather than the original Oct. 1, 2013 date, according to a proposed rule. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the proposed regulation April 9, which was published in the Federal Register April 17 with a 30-day comment period.
Anxiously awaited, her announcement quells speculation fueled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) in February when it announced they would delay implementation of the new code set. Many payers, providers, and suppliers are already underway in the transition from the previous code set, ICD-9. ICD-10-CM, the clinically modified version, will bring greater clarity and specificity with its 68,000 codes, as opposed to the outgoing code set’s 14,000.
This development pushes AAPC’s ICD-10 training conferences and proficiency testing back one year, said Reed Pew, president and CEO. AAPC membership is now preparing for the mandatory implementation, and many members have been preparing for implementation for years. The professional organization is providing training to members and others not only on the profound impact the new code set will have on health care, but on how to best use the code set. AAPC advocates a measured approach to preparing for the code set’s use, focusing right now on preparing the practice and facility for implementation and physicians with necessary documentation improvements, with the focus shifting to the actual codes closer to implementation.
AAPC ICD-10 proficiency exam dates will be moved back one year from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2015, Pew said. The online proficiency exam is required of all AAPC credentialed members to demonstrate mastery of the new system. ICD-10 training conferences scheduled in seven locations for the first half of 2013 will be moved to 2014, he added.
Required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as one of a handful of official code sets, ICD-10 must be used by providers, facilities, and payers to document diagnoses and procedures. ICD-10, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and modified to match local need, has been adopted by most developed countries. The expanded scope of the code set, which adds two more alphanumeric characters and requires precise, comprehensive documentation, has proved controversial since its introduction in the United States in the late 1990’s.
You can find more information about the proposed rule in the HHS Fact Sheets.