October 1, 2014 is the scheduled implementation deadline for the transition from ICD-9 to the ICD-10 code set. On Wednesday, April 24, Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would stop the replacement of the ICD-9 code set with ICD-10 or any other code set. H.R. 1701, The Cutting Costly Codes Act, would prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from implementing, administering or enforcing current regulations that require the new code set to take effect. The bill also calls for a federal study to identify ways to mitigate disruptions caused by any replacement of the ICD-9 code set.
In a letter of support to Poe, the AMA states that they remain deeply concerned about the timing of the ICD-10 transition during a time when physicians are devoting significant time and resources towards implementing EHRs and participating in numerous Medicare programs to avoid present and future penalties. The AMA states that “physicians are overwhelmed with the prospect of the tremendous administrative and financial burdens of transitioning to the ICD-10 diagnosis code set,” and that the timing could not be worse as physicians are also dealing with the 2% sequester cuts and the prospect of even more cuts from the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.
Nevertheless, the AMA is urging physicians to continue to prepare for ICD-10 in order to avoid financial hardship if the October 1, 2014 deadline is not delayed. If the October 1, 2014 deadline is upheld providers not meeting the deadline in transitioning to ICD-10 will not receive payment for their services.
AMA ICD-10 Web page:
CMS ICD-10 Web page:
AAPC ICD-10 Implementation Web page:
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