Home Health & Hospice

ICD-10 Implementation Deadline To Be Delayed

Homecare Insider, February 27, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed its plan to delay the implementation of ICD-10. This delay, supported by the American Medical Association, is due to the administrative burdens the implementation has placed on providers, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius.

HHS announced the conversion to ICD-10 in January 2009, giving providers nearly five years to plan for the transition. Though the new deadline remains unclear, CMS will use the rulemaking process when revisiting the ICD-10 implementation timeline. The rulemaking process can be lengthy, so it may well be a while before a firm date is established.

“Many providers have already invested many dollars and much time in the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10,” says Paula Long, RN, CHCE, Beacon Health’s regulatory specialist. “Of course the healthcare industry could use a little more time to prepare; this is true with any change, especially one as huge as this. But, the transition is inevitable and too much of a delay could further tax providers who have spent the last five years preparing for this transition.”

The advice from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is clear: Keep moving forward. Even with a delay providers should continue their planning, preparation, and education surrounding the biggest change to happen in health information management in more than 20 years.