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HHS Finalizes ICD-10 Deadline Delay

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2012

In confirming the implementation delay, HHS noted the results of a recent survey that indicated that up to 25% of healthcare providers "believe they will not be ready for an Oct. 1, 2013 compliance date." HHS said concerns about provider readiness were confirmed in another readiness survey in which about 50% of the 2,140 provider respondents "did not know when they would complete their impact assessment of the ICD-10 transition."

According to the rule, compliance with ICD-10 "by all covered entities is essential to a smooth transition to the updated medical data code sets, as the failure of any one industry segment to achieve compliance would negatively affect all other industry segments and result in returned claims and provider payment delays."

Reaction to the delay is mixed. Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA, says the delay "will be especially beneficial to smaller hospitals as they modify their information systems and helpful to larger facilities to conduct additional testing with health plans."

Count the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) also in the pleased column. Richard A. Correll, the CHIME president and CEO, notes that a longer delay "would seriously disrupt ongoing efforts to convert to ICD-10...and significantly increase the costs of converting to ICD-10." The group asked HHS "to develop a clear path forward, with benchmarks, so that healthcare industry stakeholders can make the conversion in 2014."

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