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BREAKING: HHS Proposes One Year Delay to ICD-10 Compliance

April 9, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a proposed rule that the compliance date for ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases), originally slated for Oct. 1, 2013, would be delayed one year to Oct. 1, 2014. The original compliance date was delayed in February by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, after a strong push back from provider-based groups like the American Medical Association (AMA).

Part of the ICD-10 compliance date change is a proposed rule that would adopt a standard for a unique health plan identifier (HPID), adopt a data element that would serve as an “other entity” identifier (OEID), and add a National Provider Identifier (NPI) requirement. This rule was developed by the Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS), which is attempting to adopt standards for electronic health care transactions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  

The final rule to adopt ICD-10 as the HIPAA standard code sets to replace the previously adopted ICD–9 codes was put in place in 2009.  According to the HHS, implementation of ICD-10 will accommodate new procedures and diagnoses unaccounted for in the ICD-9 code set and allow for greater specificity of diagnosis-related groups and preventive services.  This transition will lead to improved accuracy in reimbursement for medical services, fraud detection, and historical claims and diagnoses analysis for the health care system. 

In the note that announces the one-year delay, HHS acknowledges group like the AMA, which expressed concerns about physicians’ ability to meet the Oct. 1, 2013 compliance date along with other regulatory measures such as meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (ARRA/HITECH).

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