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Article by Chris Dimick, Editor-in-Chief at the Journal of AHIMA. This article was originally published on the Journal of AHIMA website on March 26, 2014 and is republished here with permission.
A new bill has been quietly introduced into the US House and Senate that features a section calling for the delay ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation until 2015.
The bill, which would adjust the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and change other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, also includes a seven line section that would delay ICD-10 to October 1, 2015.
This bill was negotiated at the leadership level in the House and Senate, and it is expected that there will be no debate before calling the bill to vote. The bill states: “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the 13 Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 14 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.”
This bill is expected to go to the House floor on Thursday, March 27 for a vote.
AHIMA Calls on Members to Request Removal of Delay Provision
AHIMA has put out a call to members and other stakeholders to contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to take the ICD-10 provision out of the SGR bill.
When contacting Congressional members, AHIMA has instructed callers to state that their representatives/senators:
- Oppose the specific language in the SGR patch legislation
- Reach out to the Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to remove the ICD-10 language from the bill
AHIMA officials have said that another delay in ICD-10 will cost the industry money and wasted time implementing the new code set. Groups opposing ICD-10 have said that the implementation, with its large increase in codes and need to adapt healthcare systems, causes an unnecessary burden on providers.
CMS estimates that a one year delay could cost between $1 billion to $6.6 billion, according a statement from AHIMA officials. ”This is approximately 10-30 percent of what has already been invested by providers, payers, vendors and academic programs in your district,” AHIMA wrote in a statement. ”Without ICD-10, the return on investment in EHRs and health data exchange will be greatly diminished… Let Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid know that a delay in ICD-10 will substantially increase total implementation costs in your district.”
Contacting Your Congressional Representatives
For more information on contacting your representatives and senators in Congress, visit AHIMA’s Advocacy and Public Policy representative look-up site at http://capwiz.com/ahima/dbq/officials/. For more information on AHIMA ICD-10 advocacy, visit http://www.ahima.org/about/advocacy.