ICD-10 Delay: Keep Calm and Code On

CMS LogoThe United States Senate just passed HR 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act. If signed into law by President Obama, then this bill will delay ICD-10 and shift required implementation from October 1, 2014 to as early as October 1, 2015. The act also extends the “doc fix” for Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payments for a year.

The bill was rapidly introduced to the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 27th, for vote. After a voice vote passage, it moved to the Senate for today’s vote. Primary arguments cited for delaying the ICD-10 implementation included lack of readiness surrounding clinical documentation, vendor solutions, and systems testing.

We encourage you to keep calm and code on.

If you are ready for implementation, then we know this delay may be difficult; we will support you with both access extensions and refresher courses. If you need another year, then this change offers an opportunity to increase your readiness through proactive education, practice, and testing. The postponement allows improvement of anatomical knowledge, review and adjustment of documentation quality and clinician education, and adjustment of coding and billing procedures.

AAPC remains committed to serving you with the highest quality training and support to help you adapt to the ever-changing healthcare environment.

Please watch for subsequent emails and other communications from AAPC with more information as this situation develops.

About Has 49 Posts

David Blackmer has been working in healthcare business operations and marketing since early 2008. He has authored and contributed to dozens of industry articles, and he is a regular speaker at various healthcare conferences and other events across the country. He earned his Master of Strategic Communication degree from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT.

39 Responses to “ICD-10 Delay: Keep Calm and Code On”

  1. Karen says:

    ” If signed into law by President Obama” Is there a deadline by which the President has to sign or not sign? Also, is there any chance he would use a line-item veto on the I-10 language?

  2. Ohio Coder says:

    !#@$%

  3. Ohio Coder says:

    !@#$@%$

  4. Alice Hinkle says:

    For those of us who have already met the competency requirement of AAPC by retesting to renew our credentials are we going to have to retest before the new go-live.

  5. Alice Hinkle says:

    Will we have to retest??

  6. cpccat says:

    Is there a chance this can be reversed??

  7. Lori Smith says:

    As a student of the medical records I am in my second semester of coding. I was fortunate that the first semester covered the traditional ICD-9 coding and started covering the ICD-10. How are the tests going to be covered as a lot of the tests had been converted to cover ICD-10. I’m about a year from testing for my RHIT however could test for my coding certification this summer.

  8. Kelly Barclay says:

    There isn’t anything on the cms website that confirms this.

  9. Beth Moore says:

    I literally watched the senate vote. It was passed. This will cost the healthcare industry literally billions of dollars as most have invested in the ICD-10 training, update to current systems, and the list goes on. Just sad…..

  10. Jason says:

    Kelly Barclay:

    It has passed the Hosue and the Senate and now is pending President Obama’s signature to become law. I suspect there will no mention of it on the CMS site until that happens.

  11. Rebecca says:

    On April 1st, CMS has stated that we must use the new 1500 forms. Because of the possible delay of ICD-10, is this deadline still active? Do we start using the new forms or use the old ones? I haven’t found anything on the web that addresses this issue.

  12. Nadeem says:

    u can see the new claim which was created by National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC).
    check this link http://www.socialworkers.org/assets/secured/documents/practice/clinical/newcms.pdf

  13. Kathleen Guiles says:

    For those of us that have passed the ICD-10 Competency Requirement, are we going to be forced to take this again when this actually does go live?

  14. Nadeem says:

    this may help you Rebecca,

    National Uniform Claim Committee
    •The NUCC was formed in 1995 taking over for the
    Uniform Claim Form Task Force that initially
    developed the standard professional claim form
    •NUCC assumed responsibility for the development
    and maintenance of the 1500 claim form
    •Its members represent a broad base of payers,
    providers, standards developers, data content
    committees, public health organizations, and
    vendors
    •The AMA is the Secretariat of the NUCC
    •NUCC’s Web site: http://www.nucc.org
    1500 Claim Form Revision Work
    •Goal: Align the 1500 with changes in the 5010 837P
    and accommodate ICD-10 reporting needs
    •Work started in 2009
    •Reviewed existing data and needs for new
    •Held a public comment period in October 2009
    •Defined the scope of the work to not change the
    existing look of the form or underlying layout
    •Made changes and mock-up of the form
    •Held a public comment period in June 2011 on
    proposed changes
    •Completed final draft of form
    1500 Claim Form Approval
    •Updated form approved by NUCC in February 2012
    (version 02/12)
    •NUCC submitted updated form to CMS for approval
    •CMS held a public comment period June 2012
    •OMB held a public comment period October 2012
    •NUCC received word of final approval in June 2013

  15. Cynthia says:

    This is just sad. Why delay the inevitable? We as a group are geared up and ready to play.

  16. kumar says:

    hi, sir .
    Im kumar . delayng icd 10is very sad to me , bcz i was 2yrs experiance in icd 10 cm.
    my salary incriment was very low .

  17. Philip says:

    I’m going to throw a pail of cold water on many of you. I am not a coder. I employ several coders. I will tell you that my organization is minimally affected by this reversal because we did not buy into the ICD-10 hysteria. We made minimal changes to our billing and coding, anticipating that the final rule would be delayed. And that delay is not necessarily temporary – why do people believe ICD-10 is “inevitable”? Show me one tangible benefit a new code set will have for patients, physicians or hospitals? Sure, if you are a consultant you cleaned up on the ICD-10 hustle. If you are an insurer you saw data mining potential to refine your ability to deny coverage. If you were CMS, you saw — well I don’t know what you saw, but you apparently mindlessly jumped to the tune. We now have a chance to think about the new standard, and decide if in fact there is any improvement.

    Again, show me the fundamental reason for making a change – if it is just to add to your personal credentials, it isn’t going to go very far.

  18. Bora says:

    I agree with Phillip. I am not a coder but employ coders for my business. Some have jumped the gun and mindlessly started training hundreds of coders in India in ICD-10 since 2011. Kumar, you might have been working on dummy cases. You cannot be 2 years experienced when the new system has not yet taken off.

  19. alinda d. johnson says:

    ANSWERING ;WHY ICD-10-CM/PCS IS NEEDED.
    BENEFITS PATIENT, DOCUMENTATION HAD TO IMPROVE AND DIAGNOSIS WERE TIED TO THEDOCUMENTATION . THIS DOCUMENTATION /DX TIE IN HAS BEEN SHOWN TO SAVE PATIENTS FROM ERRORS IN DX AND TREATMENTS THAT WERENOT REQUIRED.
    BENEFITS PHYSICIAN, DOCUMENTATION IMPROVEMENT GVE ACLEAR PICTURE OF THE PATIENTS CONDITION. iT HELPED CUT DOWM DIAGNOSIS ERRORS AND UNNECESSARY DOCUMENTATION.
    BENEFIT CMS/CDC,DISEASE TRENDS CAN BE SEEN FASTER AND TREATMENT ALERTS GIVEN SOONER.CMS CAN TRACK WHICH DISEAES ARE INCREASING AND WHERE.
    THE MEDICAL DOLLAR WOULD BE SPENT ON SPECIFIC TARGETS FOUND FROM CLEAR DOCUMENTATION AND DIAGNOSIS.
    SORRY FOR CAPS HAND INJURY.

  20. Satara says:

    President Obama can line item veto the ICD 10 portion; which I believe he will do. For those of us who have tested on ICD 10 we’re ahead of the curve. One good thing in ICD 10, it does provide a plethora of specific dx which is needed for adequate documentation.

  21. Stuck in ICD10 says:

    The Crabby Coder wrote – “What I have always said about the profession of coding is that if you are dissatisfied about how things are going, just wait a day or two and things will change.”

    The Crabby Coder is totally correct….in any practice, things can change in an hour!

    I have to admit that our large practice is not welcoming this delay. We are ready and spent the time, money, resources and everything imaginable to be ready from front desk to physicians. I’m very disappointed that the change will more than likely be delayed again. After spending all the time, classes, books and mental stress of having to learn a new code set after 30 years of coding – it’s a daunting task to be told it’s going to be delayed again without a set date for implementation. (If I read the article correctly – there is no guarentee that it will be put in place 10/2015.)

    I have a feeling that to despite what happens that we will be made to code both ICD9-CM and ICD10-CM until the implentation takes place. That way, we don’t “lose” all the work we put into it and gain more profiency. But, it will take more of our time which will cut into productivity.

    From what I have read the president has only vetoed three bills or less in his terms. So, I don’t really hold much hope that he will take that one section out as it would require that they not only read but UNDERSTAND the impact it will have on the healthcare community.

    In the words of AAPC – “keep CALM and code on” – nothing we can do about tomorrow; so, I will deal with today.

    I was wondering about the new HCFA forms too – but I don’t think they will delay it because it can still be used with the ICD9-CM format as well as ICD10-CM. But would love verification on it.

  22. Stuck in ICD10 says:

    Addendum:

    I just noticed that http://www.encoderpro.com still has it’s countdown rolling…..will be interesting to follow and see if that’s removed…

    Countdown to ICD-10….181 Days, 19 Hours, 14 Minutes, 26 Seconds – Until October 1, 2014 (Eastern Standard Time)

  23. Billier and in the real world says:

    am work for a hospital in the Midwest and I tell you, I don’t see any body that I deal on a day to day basis being ready for ICD-10. Weather is the insurance or the labor unions or the doctors. Am sorry to all those ready but I new it was going to be delay again, as this country economy is still bad. It has nothing to do with the president.

  24. Stuck in ICD10 says:

    According to the news, the presidents signed the bill as stated.

  25. Cynthia says:

    “Stuck in ICD10” where did you see this article that it was signed by the president? Search with Bing and Google did not produce this information. Anxious to know how this goes down.

  26. Kaylene Brady says:

    Kumar, I’m sorry for you, but we have all been studying and moving forward. I can do ICD-9 and I can do ICD-10. That’s all anyone in our profession who wants to stay presently employed can say.

    The students who are working to become coders will just have to hang in there and wait and see and decide if they can wait for a career here or not. I worked my butt off for this profession and I’m good at what I do and I’m not going to let anyone or anything stop my professional studies and growth.

  27. Trish says:

    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 4302
    On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” which averts cuts to Medicare physician payments that will go into effect on April 1, 2014, under the current-law “sustainable growth rate” system, to extend other health-related provisions set to expire, and to make other changes to current-law health provisions.

    This is crazy!!!

    For those of us who did out training and passed the ICD 10 Test does this mean we have to re take?

    While sessions the Senate President ask the Senator if any of them read the ENTIRE BILL. Not one could answer yes. But 64 of them vetoed YES. That is outrageous. Weather you were for it or against it. Think about what else they could be voting for the next time around. Elected Officials should NEVER be allowed to vote unless they have read the entire thing.

  28. Brianna says:

    Bora- Mindlessly training thousands of coders in India? Do you realize we are currently the only country not using the ICD 10 coding system?
    Phillip- I don’t think it is hysteria of ICD 10 it is being proactive. Whether you employers of coders realize it or not this change will happen and your company will be so far behind you will have to play catch up. I for one am excited to finally start using ICD 10 whenever that happens, it will be better for the health industry.

    The people that keep stopping this need to get over it and just let it happen, it will be better for everyone.

  29. liz says:

    i am really neutral on all of this! it is what it is ! I will do whatever I need to do! Relax everyone:)

  30. Susan says:

    ICD 10 will benefit everyone, because it capture quality of care, not quantity of care. Not one patient is the same or should be.

  31. ICd - 10 delay says:

    What is the AAPC stance on training now that we have the delay ?? Are boot camps and training of staff recommended to be delayed till Spring of 2015 ?

  32. Carissa says:

    I find it interesting there’s still no word from the AAPC on the now official delay. HR 4302 was signed into law by the president two days ago…

  33. Cheryl says:

    Carissa,
    Someone sent me something stating the same thing, that Pres Obama signed on the first. But why is everyone so quiet? I would have thought all companies involved, not just AAPC would have been blasting us with e-mails stating it is delayed?

  34. Carissa says:

    Cheryl,

    I’m not sure why they bothered sending something immediately after the Senate passed it and then chose to remain silent once it was signed into law. Other than I would imagine it’s a PR nightmare for companies that have profited from training, etc.

  35. Richard Kj says:

    The delay in ICD-10 does not surprise me at all. As a coder of 20+ years and someone who has seen the implantation of this code set come and go over the last few years, I started studying ICD-10 seriously about 4 months ago as the messages regarding the start of ICD-10 were stronger than ever. For those of us in this position it comes as a relief, another year to get ready which I will pursue. I understand everybody’s frustration at this as well but is anybody from the physicians to the coders to the insurance carriers (Who are already back logged with old claims) truly ready for ICD-10?. It’s just a question of next year will they delay it again until 2016?

  36. ICd - 10 delay says:

    everyone kept thinking he will still come out and veto that line item even the company I work for. I don’t know why folks were so slow to accept he signed it.

  37. T.Thivierge,CBCS says:

    I do believe ICD10 conversion will occur so keep coding on and learning. Using ICD10 coding will link America with other countries in the world. They have been using ICD10 coding since the year 2001. Using ICD10 will make quality assurance in patient care easier in transferring medical documentation shared with different medical centers, physicians offices, and labs. It is another piece of the puzzle in trying to match the rest of the world as far as having universal coverage for our citizens here like the rest of the world. Overseas coders are use to ICD10. We have to learn this skill here too. Also the updating of the CMS1500 claim format is way readying for ICD10 codes. For a time dual coding may be in effect by using ICD9 and ICD10 per dates linked with the conversion.

  38. Brianna Dieguez says:

    I was just rereading this and I wonder how stupid the couple of people, who bashed everyone for getting ready, felt when the implementation happened. Hopefully their employees were smarter them about gearing up for the transition

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