The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have officially pushed back the timeline for healthcare organizations to convert to the ICD-10 coding system to Oct. 1, 2014. According to an announcement, which comes on the heels of CMS's unveiling of the final rule for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, CMS also will establish a unique health plan identifier.
"We believe the change in the compliance date for ICD-10 gives covered healthcare providers and other covered entities more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition by all covered entities," the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said in its rule.
HHS said providers can expect savings from two indirect consequences of HPID implementation:
- Decreased administrative time spent interacting with health plans;
- Material cost savings after processes go from manual to electronic formats.
"HPID's anticipated 10-year return on investment for the entire healthcare industry is expected to be between $1.3 billion [and] $6 billion," HHS said.
The American Health Information Management Association was pleased with CMS's decision for a one-year delay.
"ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation is inevitable, but today's news gives the healthcare community the certainty and clarity it needs to move forward with implementation, testing and training," AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in a statement. "We realize that a few are still apprehensive about the implementation process, and that is why AHIMA remains committed to assisting the healthcare community with its transition to a new code set that will lead to improved patient care and reduced costs."
Among those groups that expressed apprehension when CMS first proposed the year delay was the American Medical Association, which in May called for a two-year delay. The Medical Group Management Association, meanwhile, said in May that the ICD-10 process lacked several steps, and wanted to see a staggering of the implementation dates so that health plans and clearinghouses would be ready one year before providers.