By Dan Bowman
Having been delayed three times from an initial deadline of Oct. 2011, many in the healthcare industry in 2015 were waiting to see how the ICD-10 transition inevitably would be kicked down the road, once again. A fourth delay, however, would not come to pass, thanks in large part to a collaborative effort between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the American Medical Association that offered a small measure of relief that applies to Medicare Part B physician fee schedule payments.
What's more, CMS worked with providers, payers and clearinghouses throughout the year to conduct various levels of testing, outlined contingencies in case systems did not correctly process claims that include the new codes and set up an ICD-10 Coordination Center to manage and triage issues relating to the transition. The agency also named William Rogers as its ICD-10 ombudsman.
Immediate early returns on the transition indicated a successful switch, although some hiccups have been noted. Still, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka said in a recent blog post that the new code set has "benefited no one."