John Commins, February 17, 2012

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that the federal government will delay for an unspecified time the implementation date for the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural coding system.

In a media release Thursday afternoon, Sebelius said federal officials were acting on providers' concerns "about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system."

HHS said it will "announce a new compliance date moving forward."

ICD-10, which has been widely used in many other countries for years, was scheduled to replace ICD-9 in the United States in October 2011. During the 2008 public comment period providers asked for,  and got , a delay until Oct. 1, 2013.

For the last several months, the American Medical Association and other provider groups have pressed the Obama Administration and Congress for another delay. Many providers say they would like to see the deadline extended by another two years.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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