The date will not change.
It appears as though the October 1 deadline that has been set in place for health care IT systems to start using the ICD-10 system will remain. Several delays have slowed down efforts to begin using the system.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, said, “There will be no change in the deadline for ICD-10.” She noted, “…we’ve already delayed it several times and it’s time to move on. It’s a standard in the rest of the world.”
Under ICD-10, hospitals would expand the number of diagnosis codes from 14,000 to 69,000. The number of procedure codes will also increase, going from 13,000 to 85,000. This classification update is designed to make sure that hospitals are documenting and providing the right treatment and payment for the treatments. This move could help to reduce billing fraud and provide better quality reporting among healthcare providers.
Speaking at the Health Care Information Management and Systems Society conference recently, Tavenner explained that while providers and payers should be ready to meet the October ICD-10 deadline, a “hardship exemption” may be extended from CMS to facilities that are not able to achieve Meaningful Use 2.
Despite requests from many health IT professionals, CMS will not offer a 90-day period where it operates ICD-9 and ICD-10, stating that they would be afraid that hospitals would not receive their Medicaid or Medicare payments in a timely manner.
A clinical engineer manager from a hospital in Texas, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “The onus is going to fall on healthcare facilities, not the government. A three-month window is not unreasonable, given the amount of data involved.” He continued, “Anything would be better than, ‘Hey, we’re going live on Oct. 1.'”
CMS health insurance specialist Stacey Shagena said that the option would simply not work. Shagena, who works primarily on ICD-10, said the CMS would need to run two systems to meet the request. She explains, “We are ready for ICD-10. We have been ready since last October.”
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