A vote on key health IT legislation pending before Congress is unlikely to move forward this month, according to media reports. The Johnson-Deal bill would make changes to federal law designed to encourage hospitals and physicians to adopt information technology. Among other things, the legislation makes the job of National Health IT Coordinator permanent, officially empowering a federal czar to oversee the technological transformation of the U.S. healthcare system. Other provisions seek to set standards for interoperability, privacy and healthcare IT certification. One sticking point slowing progress is a requirement that insurers move from ICD-9 to ICD-10 billing codes by 2009, a change that would vastly increase the number of codes used by providers. The insurance industry has lobbied aggressively against the requirement, which looks as though it will not make it into the final draft.
- read this report from Healthcare IT news