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ICD-10 Coalition Members Oppose SGR Patch Provision to Delay ICD-10 Adoption
[March 26, 2014]

ICD-10 Coalition Members Oppose SGR Patch Provision to Delay ICD-10 Adoption

WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--

Members of the Coalition for ICD-10 oppose the provision in Section 212 of the "doc fix patch" package to delay ICD-10 adoption until March 2015.

The Coalition for ICD-10, a broad constituency of organizations from across the health care community - including hospitals, health plans, hospital and physician office coding experts, professional associations, vendors and the HIT community -- maintains that any further delay or deviation from the October 2014 compliance date would be disruptive and costly for health care delivery innovation, payment reform, public health, and health care spending.

"We are extremely dismayed that this provision was included solely for political reasons - not because it is sound policy," said Sue Bowman, MJ, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, Senior Director, Coding Policy and Compliance for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), a Coalition member. "An overwhelming majority of the health care community has made enormous investments into being ready for adoption in October - and we shouldn't all lose that effort for political reasons."

The ICD-10 coding standard, scheduled for adoption in October 2014, was developed as an improvement to the current ICD-9 coding system. Used for reporting diagnoses by all healthcare providers and for hospital reporting of inpatient procedures, ICD-10 allows for more specific and accurate representation of current and future medical diagnoses than is possible with the 30-year-old ICD-9 codes.

"ICD-10 is the next generation coding sstem that will modernize and expand the capacity of public and private payers to keep pace with changes in medical practice and healthcare delivery," added J.C. Scott, Senior Executive Vice President, Government Affairs for the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed). "New and innovative medical technologies have been living under a code freeze under the limitations of ICD-9. It makes no sense to delay something that will provide higher quality information for measuring service quality, outcomes, safety, and efficiency."

In a recent letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, members of the Coalition expressed their continued support for the October 2014 implementation date and opposition to any actions that would further delay full compliance with the planned adoption of ICD-10.

"Further delay of ICD-10 discredits the considerable investment made by stakeholders across the country to modernize healthcare delivery," said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. "Providers have already dedicated significant time and resources in financing, training and implementing the necessary changes to workflow and clinical documentation. Any disruption to the ICD-10 transition at this stage would be detrimental."

"The healthcare industry has made significant investments in the ICD-10 transition," said Richard Averill, Senior Vice President and Research Director, 3M (News - Alert) Health Information Systems. "If there is any delay, ICD-9-CM versions of systems will have to be updated to remain current. This will require any ICD-10 conversion work already performed to be updated, retested, and reintegrated - greatly increasing the cost of conversion."

Signatories of the ICD-10 Coalition letter to Administrator Tavenner were:

Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
American Hospital Association
American Medical Informatics (News - Alert) Association (AMIA)
BlueCross BlueShield Association
College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)
Health IT Now Coalition
Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA)
3M Health Information Systems
Roche Diagnostics Corporation
Siemens (News - Alert) Health Services

Visit the Web for more information about the Coalition for ICD-10.

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