New ICD-10 Date Officially Set

The date for ICD-10 has been officially set (again). The US Department of Health and Human Services finalized Oct. 1, 2015, as the new compliance deadline.

The date for ICD-10 has officially been set (again). The US Department of Health and Human Services finalized Oct. 1, 2015, as the new deadline for the transition to ICD-10.

With no more uncertainty about the new compliance date, providers and others in the healthcare industry can ramp up operations. The previous deadline of Oct. 1, 2014, was delayed at the end of March, when Congress passed a bill to push the date back by at least a year. President Barack Obama signed the bill on April 1.

Preparing to transition to ICD-10 has been troublesome for many providers. The move from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will increase the current 13,500 diagnostic codes to nearly 70,000. At the beginning of the year, the Medical Group Management Association reported that less than 10% of practices were ready for a deadline that was just 9 months away at the time.

Furthermore, a survey from the American Medical Association found that implementation was going to be much more expensive than initially estimated. While original projections placed implementation costs for a small practice around $83,290, the new estimates found it could cost as much as $226,105 for a small practice.

“ICD-10 codes will provide better support for patient care, and improve disease management, quality measurement and analytics,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “For patients under the care of multiple providers, ICD-10 can help promote care coordination.”

ICD-10 codes are expected to improve quality measurement and reporting, prevent waste, abuse, and fraud, and increase accuracy for reimbursement, according to CMS. In 2015, CMS is expected to complete end-to-end testing to ensure providers are ready for the transition date.