Health Information Management

Code freeze to extend through ICD-10 implementation

HIM-HIPAA Insider, April 17, 2012

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After HHS proposed a year-long delay of ICD-10-CM/PCS, questions emerged regarding the current ICD-9-CM code freeze. CMS confirmed that the code freeze will hold until ICD-10-CM/PCS is implemented regardless of the delay, according to Pat Brooks, RHIA, senior technical advisor at CMS. Brooks provided the update during the AHIMA ICD-10 Summit April 16 in Baltimore.

Brooks indicated CMS believed doing away with the code freeze “would be rather catastrophic,” both for CMS and for providers.

This means the next regular code update won’t occur until one year after the eventual implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS. If HHS finalizes the October 1, 2014, implementation deadline, the next regular update would be October 1, 2015. The 2013 code updates will only relate to new diseases and technologies.

Brooks also urged providers to comment on the proposed rule, as the delay until October 1, 2014, has not yet been finalized. The published rule should appear in the Federal Register April 17. The comment period will extend for 30 days after that date.
 



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