Wednesday February 15, 2012
Healthcare providers could get some regulatory deadline relief
soon. The acting head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services said today the agency is considering extending its
timeline for ICD-10 code conversion compliance.
Under current ICD-10 rules, healthcare providers, payers, and
others have until Oct. 1, 2013 to switch over their claims,
billing, and other systems from current ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes for
medical diagnosis and inpatient procedures. The transition from
ICD-9 to ICD-10 involves expanding medical diagnosis codes from the
current 14,000 to more than 67,000, and procedure codes from 13,000
Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a conference of the American
Medical Association (AMA) that her agency could delay adoption of
the ICD-10 system. Current law calls for physicians to adopt the
new codes next year.
"I'm committing today to work with you to re-examine the pace at
which we implement ICD-10," she said to loud applause. "I want to
work together to ensure that we implement ICD-10 in a way that
[meets its] goals while recognizing your concerns."
Critics - including the AMA - say switching to ICD-10 coding
will require doctors' offices to deal with some 68,000 codes, more
than five times the current 13,000. The change, according to the
AMA, would cost medical practices anywhere between $83,290 and more
than $2.7 million, depending on size.
Speaking to reporters after her prepared remarks, Tavenner said
her office would formally announce its intention to craft new
regulations "within the next few days."
LTC Provider University will provide updates when they