Only Days Left to Comment on ICD-9 Freeze Before I-10

Health care providers have just two years to prepare for ICD-10 implementation on Oct. 1, 2013, and there are only days remaining to ensure the transition goes more smoothly. The 2011 Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) for Acute Care Hospitals and Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH PPS) proposed rule comment period ends June 18.

In the proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states:

“We welcome additional input on having the last regular code updates to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM on October 1, 2011 and to only add codes for new technologies and diseases on October 1, 2012 and 2013. We also welcome additional input on having the next regular update to ICD-10 occur again on October 1, 2014.”

Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC, CENTC, AAPC vice president of business and member development, recently told justcoding.com that a code freeze would allow “coders, physicians, and facilities to learn the new code set without having multiple changes along the way.” Buckholtz adds, “Just this year alone, there were close to a couple thousand ICD-10 changes. If providers have to learn one set of rules and then relearn the rules, it will put a larger stress on them.” Not to mention the stress put on coders who have to learn the rules for all those new codes!

Comments on this and all other provisions in the 2011 IPPS proposed rule can be submitted electronically via the Regulations.gov website until June 18, 5 pm EST.

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2 Responses to “Only Days Left to Comment on ICD-9 Freeze Before I-10”

  1. Sabine Colton says:

    I’m in favor of the freeze for ICD-9 codes upto the implementation of ICD-10.
    ICD-9 code updates at this point are redundant as they’ll never be as specific as ICD-10.
    Keeping up the changes in preparation for ICD-10 and 5010 implemetation is challenging in and of itself and shouldn’t be complicated by trying to keep up with an already outdated diagnosis code system.

    Sabine

  2. bettie says:

    lets just start using icd10. we’ve known it was coming for many, many years!!

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