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ICD-10 Delay Doesn't Come Without Worries

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 5, 2012

The collective yawn heard a couple of weeks ago after the ICD-10 delay to 2014 was announced was probably a bunch of health plan IT types wondering what all the fuss was about.

In conversations with payers and in reviewing their ICD-10 websites it's evident that the major players—Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, UnitedHealth, and WellPoint—have been prepping for ICD-10 implementation and were comfortable that they could meet the original 2013 deadline.

That has not necessarily been the case for hospitals and physicians, which anxiously awaited confirmation of the delay first proposed in April. The American Hospital Association supported a one-year delay based on the time and effort already invested by hospitals in meeting the original 2013 deadline. The American Medical Association had lobbied for a two-year delay until 2015 citing, among other concerns, the need for a cost/benefit analysis of the move to ICD-10.

Meanwhile, America's Health Insurance Plans was copasetic either way. The prevailing sentiment in the industry is that health insurers were already prepared to meet the original Oct. 1, 2013 deadline and the one-year delay is just icing on the cake in terms of testing, although there are concerns that the delay will increase costs and cause the project to lose momentum.

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