The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a one-year delay to the ICD-10 implementation process. This ICD-10 delay means that health care organizations now have until Oct. 1, 2014 to make the transition to ICD-10 codes, which many nations in the developed world have been using for more than a decade.
The announced one-year ICD-10 delay is consistent with what listeners to a recent Deloitte Development LLC webinar said they wanted. Anything more than that, attendees said, would have been a “game-changer” forcing significant changes to ICD-10 implementation timelines.
The ICD-10 delay stems in large part from American Medical Association’s opposition to implementing ICD-10, which the AMA announced in a formal resolution at its November 2011 annual meeting. Organizations such as AHIMA and HIMSS in turn expressed opposition to the AMA’s opposition, noting that many organizations were well on their way to meeting their goals and that an ICD-10 delay of even one year may derail their momentum.
The ICD-10 delay also follows a delay in the enforcement of the transition to HIPAA version 5010, which is the new electronic transaction standard needed to accommodate ICD-10 codes. (The HIPAA version 4010 standard went into effect not long after HIPAA itself and, as a result, does not support ICD-10.) Initially, health care organizations needed to support HIPAA version 5010 for electronic transactions by Jan. 1, 2012, but HHS has since postponed enforcement of this deadline by six months.
A one-year ICD-10 delay should put to bed any thoughts that the United States would skip ICD-10 altogether and transition straight from ICD-9 to ICD-11, which the World Health Organization is expected to finish by the end of 2015. Such a move, while sensible in a way, would have presented numerous logistical challenges.