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ICD-10 Delay Approved By Senate; Deadline Moved to 10/1/2015

Posted by Matthew Smith on Apr 1, 2014 9:26:00 AM

ICD-10 DelayedBy a vote of 64 to 35, the U.S. Senate on March 31 approved legislation that includes a provision to delay the ICD-10 implementation deadline by one year to Oct. 1, 2015. The bill will be sent to President Obama for his expected signature.

The so-called "Doc-Fix" bill also suspends Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that would have cut the physician reimbursement rate this year by nearly 24 percent. Congress had until today to pass the legislation that averts the payment cut and further delays Medicare cuts to physicians until April 1, 2015. In addition, the bill further delays enforcement of the Medicare two-midnight payment policy for hospitals until March 2015.

The Senate conducted a straight “up or down” roll call vote on the bill, which prevented senators from removing any sections of the bill, including the ICD-10 delay provision. Previously, in a March 27 voice vote, the House of Representatives approved the fast-track legislation that was based on a bipartisan deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner. 

In an opening statement earlier this afternoon to begin the Senate's consideration of H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, Reid acknowledged that the 12-month temporary SGR fix in the bill "is not perfect, not ideal" but it "ensures that Medicare patients will be able to see their doctors." The legislation is Congress’ 17th temporary Medicare patch. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), recently installed as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, tried but failed to get the Senate to consider a permanent Medicare SGR fix during debate on the bill.

Topics: CMS, AMA, ICD-10, AHIMA, HIMSS, Doc Fix

Senate to Vote Monday on ICD-10 Delay

Posted by Matthew Smith on Mar 28, 2014 2:13:00 PM
ICD-10, House Bill,Courtesy of HIMSS Government Relations

On Thursday, March 27th, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote HR 4302, a new bill that would create a one-year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, further delaying action on replacing the current formula until April 2015. 

The bill would also delay the conversion to ICD-10 by one year to October 2015:

SEC. 212. DELAY IN TRANSITION FROM ICD–9 TO ICD–10 CODE SETS.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 14 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.

The bill now awaits action in the Senate, which has announced plans to vote at 5:30 pm on Monday, March 31st, with 60 votes needed for passage.  The current short term SGR "doc fix" expires at midnight Monday.

“HIMSS is monitoring the developments in the House and Senate on ICD-10," said Tom Leary, HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations. "We continue to focus our efforts on supporting our stakeholders by providing education, resource and tools to help them make the conversion to ICD-10 in the most effective and efficient ways.”

HIMSS offers many resources for those making the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in the ICD-10 Playbook

In February, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told HIMSS14 attendees that the October 1, 2014 start date for ICD-10 remained firm. 

Topics: CMS, AMA, ICD-10, AHIMA, HIMSS, Doc Fix

BREAKING: House Bill Would Delay ICD-10 Deadline Until at Least 2015

Posted by Matthew Smith on Mar 26, 2014 2:53:00 PM

ICD-10, House BillThe planned implementation of a nationwide conversion to the ICD-10 family of diagnostic and procedural codes would be extended at least a year by a House Ways and Means Committee bill aimed at providing the annual fix of the physician sustainable growth-rate formula.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard,” states section 212 of the proposal. 

In late February, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told an industry conference, “There are no more delays and the system will go live on Oct. 1,” of this year, which was the original scheduled implementation date for ICD-10.

According to an announcement by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the bill is slated to be voted by the House of Representatives on March 27. “This bill was negotiated at the leadership level in the House and Senate, and it is expected that there will be no debate before calling the bill to vote,” the association revealed to its constituents.

Additionally, AHIMA has urged its members and other stakeholders to contact their representatives and senators not for the purpose of supporting the delay but instead of removing the ICD-10 provision from the SGR bill. The association has made the following script available to would-be callers:

Hello Representative XX/Senator XX, my name is XXX and I am a concerned member in your district, as well as a healthcare professional. I am calling to voice my opposition to the language in the SGR patch that would delay ICD-10 implementation until October, 2015. CMS estimates that a 1 year delay could cost between $1 billion to $6.6 billion. This is approximately 10-30% of what has already been invested by providers, payers, vendors and academic programs in your district. Without ICD-10, the return on investment in EHRs and health data exchange will be greatly diminished. I urge you, Representative XX/ Senator XX to oppose the ICD-10 delay and let Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid know that a delay in ICD-10 will substantially increase total implementation costs in your district as well as delay the positive impact for patient care.

Associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) have asked their members to convince Congress of the need for a timely SGR repeal, with the failure to do by March 31 leading to a 24-percent cut in payments to physicians. But this advocacy does include any mention of the recent inclusion of an ICD-10 delay into the debate over the SGR.

Topics: CMS, AMA, ICD-10, AHIMA

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