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    ICD-10 deadline will not change, CMS head says

    One of the AUA’s top legislative priorities for 2014—opposing or deferring implementation of the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision (ICD-10)—appears to be in danger.

    Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told attendees at the Health Information and Management Systems Society annual conference and exhibition in Orlando, FL that there will be no further delays in ICD-10’s rollout and that “it’s time to move on.”

    On Oct. 1, 2014, the current ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets, which increase the number of reporting codes from about 13,600 to about 69,000.

    “Let’s face it, we have delayed this more than once, and it is time to move on,” Tavenner said. “We have already delayed the adoption standard, a standard the rest of the world has adopted many years ago, and we have delayed it several times, most recently last year. There will be no change in the deadline for ICD-10.”

    Last month, the AUA placed opposition to or delay of ICD-10’s implementation among a list of nine legislative priorities for this year. James Ulchaker, MD, of the AUA Legislative Affairs Committee, said many practices are not ready for this transition.

    Also in February, the AMA petitioned CMS for a delay in ICD-10, due to financial and administrative costs that they say medical practices aren’t ready for. According to the AMA, small practices can expect costs ranging from $56,639 to $226,105 to implement ICD-10. According to a February survey by the Medical Group Management Association, 79% of physicians report that they haven’t begun ICD-10 implementation, or were only “somewhat ready.”

    Despite media reports questioning whether electronic health records vendors and public and commercial payers will even be ready for the ICD-10 conversion, Tavenner says CMS will be.

    In 2011, CMS began installing and testing system changes to support ICD-10, Tavenner says. As of October 2013, the service systems at CMS were ready and a range of testing will ensue. CMS was scheduled to conduct a Medicare testing period this month so that providers, billing companies, and clearinghouses can determine whether CMS will accept their claims under ICD-10.

    Also in March, CMS plans to solicit 500 volunteers to participate in end-to-end testing of more than 25,000 test claims to evaluate the government’s payment system.

    A more detailed report on Tavenner’s talk is available from Medical Economics.

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