House, Senate Will Vote on Delaying ICD-10 Implementation

March 26, 2014
Laura Joszt

Although the Department of Health and Human Services stated in the past it would not extend the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementing ICD-10, Congress is going to vote on that very issue.

Despite the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services has stated in the past that it was not going to extend the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementing ICD-10, Congress is going to vote on that very issue.

The new bill in the US House and the Senate calls for delaying ICD-10 a full year until Oct. 1, 2015. The ICD-10 extension is part of a bill from the House Ways and Means Committee aimed at providing the annual, temporary fix for the sustainable growth-rate (SGR) formula, according to a report from Modern Healthcare.

According to the bill:

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD—10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the 13 Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 14 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.”

The bill only provides a temporary SGR fix, as opposed to the permanent one that House and Senate leaders were working toward because no agreement was reached on how to pay for permanent repeal and replacement of the SGR. The House is expected to vote on the bill Thursday with the Senate taking action shortly after.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) immediately urged members to contact their representatives to remove the ICD-10 provision from the SGR bill. According to AHIMA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid estimated that delaying the implementation by a year could cost between $1 billion and $6.6 billion, which is roughly 10% to 30% of what providers, payers, vendors, and academic programs have already invested.

“Without ICD-10, the return on investment in EHRs and health data exchange will be greatly diminished…,” AHIMA wrote in a statement. “Let Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid know that a delay in ICD-10 will substantially increase total implementation costs…”