In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) about the ICD-10 compliance delay, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) said it continues to recommend there be no delay, but since one is likely, AHIMA stated that the association will continue to work with HHS and the healthcare industry to ensure the delay is as short as possible, preferably not more than one year.
“ICD-9 is antiquated and no longer adequately meets the challenge of a 21st century healthcare system,” AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, said in a statement. “ICD-10 should be implemented in a timely manner, and AHIMA is ready to continue assisting the healthcare community to prepare for the transition. We also encourage advance testing of the ICD-10 codes to be sure there are no further delays in the implementation deadline.”
According to Dan Rode, AHIMA vice president for advocacy and policy, ICD-10 is the foundation for other critical national healthcare initiatives such as meaningful use, value-based purchasing, payment reform, quality reporting, and accountable care organizations. He says a delay of more than one year would cause additional confusion for colleges and universities as to what they should be teaching. Students already have been trained in ICD-10 and are forced to use ICD-9-CM when they enter the workforce.
AHIMA also advocated in the letter that transitioning directly to ICD-11 is not a viable option as implementation would not occur until after 2020, which it says is a best case scenario.