Date for ICD-10 Implementation Officially Delayed

-->August 27, 2012Billing & Compliance Alerts

    Date for ICD-10 Implementation Officially Delayed
    By Justin Vaughn, M.Div, CPC

    8/27/2012

    The long-awaited decision by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) establishing the implementation date for ICD-10 has been reached and officially set.  Originally, the agency had planned for the healthcare industry to transition to the use of ICD-10 on Oct 1, 2013.  However, due to a growing concern that payors and providers may not be ready for the change by that date, CMS considered postponing the deadline by one year.

    The final rule relative to this matter—to be published in the September 5 edition of the Federal Register—confirms the government’s recently-proposed position:  The deadline for utilizing the ICD-10 coding guidelines is now set for Oct 1, 2014.  This provides entities two full years to continue their preparations—and it will be needed.

    By way of background, the entire healthcare industry currently utilizes ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases: 9th Revision).  This is the manual that translates documented diagnoses into numerical codes for claims processing purposes.  Beginning Oct 1, 2014, all payors and providers must adopt and use ICD-10, which promises to be far more detailed and complex than the current manual.  For example, under ICD-9, there is only a single coding option to reflect a “closed fracture of the radial shaft” (813.21).  Under ICD-10, there will be 270 code variants that providers, coders and payors will have to consider.  Clearly, this is not your father’s coding manual!

    Rest assured that Medac will be at the forefront in preparing for this new day in diagnosis coding, and will provide information and recommendations to our clients along the way.  We will do all we can to ensure that your transition to ICD-10 is smooth and trouble-free.

    The information presented herein reflects general information that is current as of the date it was first published.  In light of changes that may occur in the health care regulatory and compliance environments, the author’s presentation of this information might become outdated.  Please check with your individual legal and/or compliance advisor(s) prior to taking any significant actions based upon the information and advice presented.