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ICD-10 Delay Doesn't Address Procedural Hurdles, Critics Say

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 10, 2012

"The American Medical Association and physicians across the nation appreciate that CMS has proposed delaying the ICD-10 implementation date to Oct. 1, 2014," AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD, said in a media release. "The postponement is the first of many steps that regulators need to take to reduce the number of costly, time-consuming regulatory burdens that physicians are shouldering."

Carmel said the AMA is still reviewing the proposed rule and plans to issue formal comments to CMS on the delayed ICD-10deadline, "as well as the standard unique health plan identifier proposed in the same rule. A robust unique health plan identifier is an administrative simplification solution that has the potential to bring about significant cost-savings by eliminating the ambiguity that makes health care transactions so costly today," Carmel said.

Marie Watteau, director of media relations for the American Hospital Association, told HealthLeaders Media in an email exchange that HHS's announcement was "welcome news, especially for smaller hospitals. The AHA will continue to work closely with all of our members to support ICD-10 implementation."

Tennant says the federal government's "debacle" with 510(k) implementation demonstrates that everyone in healthcare "can't be vectoring toward the same compliance date."

"There has to be a way to get the plans and clearing houses ahead of time and then bring the providers on and have a period of time where there is testing and then you go live after the testing has taken place," he says. "This is not just about ICD-10. There are a whole host of mandates coming out of the Affordable Care Act, and if we don't improve the process we are going to be running into roadblocks at every turn."

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