New ICD-10 deadline proposed for 2014

The timeline for healthcare organizations to convert to the ICD-10 coding system will likely be delayed one year--to Oct. 1, 2014--U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday. The delay is part of a proposed rule, set to be published next week in the Federal Register, that would create a unique health plan identifier that HHS estimates could save doctors and insurers $4.6 billion over the next decade.

The unique identifier, according to HHS, would streamline billing processes for providers. "These important simplifications will mean doctors can spend less time filling out forms and more time seeing patients," Sebelius said.

The ICD-10 announcement comes nearly two months after HHS officially announced a delay following intense pressure from the American Medical Association and other medical groups. Many healthcare executives had previously indicated that they would stay the course with their implementation efforts, regardless of whenever the new deadline fell.

As one CIO said in response to a recent survey, "Investments are already made, so they can't be unmade."

To learn more:
- here's the HHS announcement
- read the proposed rule