February was a busy month in Washington DC for parties interested in ICD-10. The big question on everyone’s mind is will it get delayed again? ICD-10 has already been delayed three times, twice by CMS and most recently last March by Congress.
The repeated delays make it difficult for anyone to say with certainty what will happen in the future. The government is a bit like the boy who cried wolf, but remember at the end of that story the people who suffer are the owners of the sheep!
CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner reports successful completion of first end-to-end ICD-10 testing. Testing was completed with over 600 providers and 14,000 claims. 81% of claims were accepted with 6% of claims rejected for ICD-9 or ICD-10 related errors. CMS will offer to other periods of end-to-end testing April 27-May 1 and July 20-July 24.
Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a Congressional Hearing on ICD-10 on February 11th to listen to updates on stakeholder preparation. Six of the seven panelists were in favor of moving forward with ICD-10 on October 1, 2015 with the lone dissenter concerned about implementation costs for small physician practices.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on February 6th detailing CMS response to Stakeholder concerns. It was these concerns that ultimately delayed ICD-10 in 2014. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch (Republican, Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) said the report “gives them confidence” that CMS is adequately preparing for the switch to ICD-10 in 2015.
All three of these events point towards holding the line on the current ICD-10 conversion date of October 1, 2015. We share many of Dr. Terry’s concerns for physician practices to successfully transition to ICD-10.
My recommendation would be to prepare for ICD-10 to happen in 2015. Join me for a webinar focused on how to prepare for ICD-10 and protect physician productivity.