Wiki Health and Human Services Meeting - Feb. 11th, 2008


AAPC Staff
Warren, MN
Best answers
Our Washington, DC lobbyists along with other lobbyists from the AMA, Blue Cross Associations met with seven staff members from Health and Human Services regarding implementation of ICD-10 on February 11, 2008.

We have recommended to CMS that the implementation dates for ICD-10 be carefully evaluated because:
  • The history of HHS setting deadlines in these types of situations that then had to be extended is extensive: HIPAA, 4010, 5010, NPI, attachment regulations etc.
  • ICD in other countries only covers inpatient codes not outpatient.
  • Canada found ICD-10 for outpatient care too expensive.
  • We must have 5010 first.
  • If the transition to ICD-10 is not smooth, there is a greater possibility of fraud which has declined noticeably under Medicare because of the software programs developed to detect fraud in ICD-9.
  • The transition to the 15 MACs in Medicare is massive and another significant transition such as ICD-10 should await its conclusion.
  • Careful planning of “crosswalks” from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is needed.
  • Extensive pilot programs are needed to test the systems before mandated compliance of ICD-10.
  • BC/BS felt that with a later effective date enough testing could be done which would reduce the transition period.

HHA staff told AAPC that they really do not have a set timeline for this transition and it is still under discussion within the Department. Currently the plan is October, 2010, but that is under serious review. We recommended it be pushed back further for the above reasons.

Only a matter of time until medicine advancements out way ICD-9 tabulated capabilities. If America is planning on implementing ICD-10 in the future, they should start preparing and developing systems to weather change. If the only thing preventing an advance update is money and education, U.S. citizens should reprioritize there priorities, especially coders. Multi-million dollars a year coding errors should raise a green flag to change; Although, ICD-10 implementation shouldn't be rushed until the industry is well prepared.