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AHIMA, AMA, Others Speak Out on ICD-10 Delay

April 10, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has made it clear that it’s not a huge supporter of the decision from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to delay the date in which organizations must transition to ICD-10. However, in light of HHS announcing a proposal for a one-year delay to the compliance date, AHIMA is recognizing the federal government for keeping the delay short, while encouraging organizations to remain focused on their implementation efforts.

“Our preference is for no delay in ICD-10 implementation and compliance, but we are gratified that HHS is recognizing the hard work and efforts already expended in the implementation process and has decided to keep the extension to essentially the shortest period possible – just one year,” AHIMA’s CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in a statement.

Thomas Gordon also noted that AHIMA’s call for HIPAA covered entities to continue their ICD-10 implementation was justified when looking at the HHS analysis. “The transition to ICD-10 is inevitable and remains the future for coding classification systems. We are sorry to see that our members and organizations following HHS’ initial calendar may suffer from the delay, as will our many higher education colleges and universities that changed their curricula to meet this same requirement date.”

The American Medical Association who made public efforts to get the compliance date delayed, has also put out a statement on HHS’s one-year proposal. "The American Medical Association and physicians across the nation appreciate that CMS has proposed delaying the ICD-10 implementation date to October 1, 2014. The postponement is the first of many steps that regulators need to take to reduce the number of costly, time-consuming regulatory burdens that physicians are shouldering,” Peter W. Carmel, M.D., President of the AMA, said in a statement.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)’s senior policy advisor Robert Tennant said the one-year delay is nice, but according to HealthLeadersMedia, it doesn’t solve the underlying flaws in the current process.  Tennant says there needs to be pilot testing, staggered implementation dates, and certification of vendors, clearinghouses and health plans.



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