The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) has announced it not initiate enforcement action for those who are forced to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) 5010 regulations for an additional three months, through June 30, 2012.
The original date of compliance was Jan. 1, 2012. However, HIPAA announced in November that it would have a 90-day grace period where it wouldn’t initiate enforcement against those who had not complied by then. With many in the industry expecting the compliance date to be delayed, CMS has done just that. CMS says during this period health plans, clearinghouses, providers, and software vendors can complete outstanding implementation activities including software installation, testing and training.
According to the CMS, the Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) program is currently reporting successful receipt and processing of over 70 percent of all Part A claims and over 90 percent of all Part B claims in the Version 5010 format. Commercial plans are reporting similar numbers.
CMS is urging the industry to collaborate more closely on appropriate strategies to resolve remaining problems. The agency says OESS will step up its existing outreach to include more technical assistance for covered entities by partnering with several industry groups as well as Medicare FFS and Medicaid to expand technical assistance opportunities and eliminate remaining barriers.