AHIMA: Remain Focused on Expediting ICD-10 Implementation

CHICAGO - April 9, 2012 - In light of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed one-year delay in implementing ICD-10-CM or ICD-10-PCS for HIPAA covered entities, AHIMA encouraged organizations to remain focused on their implementation efforts. 

"Our preference is for no delay in ICD-10 implementation and compliance," said AHIMA's CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, "but we are gratified that HHS is recognizing the hard work and efforts already expended in the implementation process and has decided to keep the extension to essentially the shortest period possible - just one year."   In February, HHS announced its plan to re-examine the timetable for ICD-10 implementation.  

Thomas Gordon also noted that AHIMA's call for HIPAA covered entities to continue their ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation was justified when looking at the HHS analysis.  "The transition to ICD-10 is inevitable and remains the future for coding classification systems.  We are sorry to see that our members and organizations following HHS' initial calendar may suffer from the delay, as will our many higher education colleges and universities that changed their curricula to meet this same requirement date." 

"We are empathetic to the pressures many small providers and practices have meeting the current requirements," Thomas Gordon continued, "but a continued delay and uncertainty in the implementation date is in no one's best interest.  Further delays in our nation's efforts to implement electronic health records and information exchange will only increase costs in the long run and result in lost benefits from having health information available where and when it is needed." 

"AHIMA and its component state organizations will continue to be a valuable and comprehensive resource in providing assistance to small providers, practices and others that need support in implementation and training necessary to achieve full compliance," Thomas Gordon concluded.



Representing more than 64,000 specially educated Health Information Management professionals in the United States and around the world, the American Health Information Management Association is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA's enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information. www.ahima.org

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