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UPDATE: Obama Signs Legislation, ICD-10 Delayed

April 2, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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With the official signature of President Barack Obama for the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, the compliance date of ICD-10 is officially delayed one year until Oct. 1, 2015.

The White House website indicated that President Obama signed the temporary Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) "doc fix" bill on April 1. With his signature and passage in the U.S. House and Senate, the bill will become law.

Released last week, the bill provides a 12-month delay to the March 31, 2014 expiration date of the SGR "doc fix.” The SGR, or sustainable growth rate formula, is the formula for physician payment established under Medicare since 1997, and has only been deployed a single year, with Congress authorizing annual "fixes" in its place. The passage of the bill averted an automatic 24-percent Medicare reimbursement cut to physicians.

It also delays the transition to ICD-10 one year until 2015. It is the third delay of the compliance date for the transition to the coding set.  Obama’s signature was inevitable to many, although those advocating against another delay of ICD-10 were holding out hope that he would veto it. In addition, the bill includes provisions mandating the use of clinical decision support tools in the ordering of diagnostic imaging studies. Healthcare Informatics will continue to cover ongoing developments with regard to policy clarifiactions around the ICD-10 delay and around the diagnostic imaging requirements, as more information becomes available.

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