Nearly two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the temporary Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) "doc fix" bill that included a one-year extension to ICD-10 implementation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just now updated its website to acknowledge the delay.
In a short statement, the website states, “With enactment of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, CMS is examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon. This provision in the statute reads as follows: “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for codes sets under section 1173 (c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2 (c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.”
When the bill officially came a law, several industry groups advocated for more guidance from CMS, but the federal agency kept silent, even keeping the original transition date of October 1, 2014 as the most updated version on its website—until now. This is the second time in nearly two years that the ICD-10 compliance date has been pushed back, although this time the decision was made by Congress, not CMS.
In a statement made shortly after the bill was signed from the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Russell P. Branzell, CHIME president and CEO, said, “The delay leaves numerous unanswered questions from testing, training and revamping the agency’s education resources, such as the CMS eHealth University, designed to help providers understand, implement, and successfully participate in the conversion process. We will look for information from CMS as it becomes available, and will continue to work diligently with stakeholders to prevent any further delay beyond 2015.”