IN THE NEWS: Protecting Access to Medicare Act Passes House and Senate

The 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.


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