Aggravation over ICD-10 delay continues

"Disappointed" was the overwhelming reaction from survey respondents asked by the American Health Information Management Association their thoughts on the ICD-10 delay, in a poll given during AHIMA's ICD-10 summit in Washington, D.C., last week.

Of 69 total respondents, 88 percent voted that they were disappointed by the delay. Forty-two percent of 54 respondents said their organizations had spent more than $1 million on implementation of ICD-10. An overwhelming 91 percent of 59 people surveyed said ICD-10 should not go into effect in stages.

Voluntary reporting of ICD-10 codes drew a more varied response from participants--50 percent of 62 respondents said they would be interested in voluntary reporting of ICD-10, and 54 percent of 57 respondents did not want the partial code set freeze lifted.

"As a long-time champion of ICD-10, AHIMA continues to advocate that the Department of Health and Human Services announce Oct. 1, 2015, as the new implementation date," AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in an announcement. "AHIMA stands ready to help the industry with the transition, and as an example, we plan to develop and disseminate a paper including policy informing recommendations as well as documents describing best practices to continue our work assisting the industry with implementation and training."

The ICD-10 delay that went into effect earlier this month won't be a total "killer" for implementation of the more advanced coding set, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services representative who spoke to AHIMA members at the summit. Nonetheless, Denise Buenning, deputy director of CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services acknowledged that the decision to delay was surprising.

"We were ready. I think we were as surprised as all of you," Buenning said of the delay, included in the most recent iteration of the sustainable growth rate patch. "My first reaction to the congressional action was thinking of individuals in coding schools."

As reported in early April, not only did the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives express discord with the delay, so, too, did several CIOs on FierceHealthIT's Editorial Advisory Board when asked for their thoughts on the matter.

To learn more:
- see the poll results
- see the announcement from AHIMA

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