ICD-10 Delayed

ICD-10 Delayed

As you should be aware by now, the implementation of ICD-10 has been delayed, and will not be implemented until October 1, 2015, at the earliest. The deadline to use  ICD-10 to document patient visits and submit claims will not take effect until 2015.

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What caused this delay? In a move which was unexpected by many, ICD-10 implementation got tagged onto a bill which addresses the SGR Medicare rate fix which expired 4/1/13. While many physician groups were hoping for a permanent solution to the yearly problem of Medicare payment levels being tied to the sustainable growth rate, efforts to reach an agreed upon solution fell short of the time frame to take necessary action. Instead, this year’s Medicare rates were established via a temporary one year patch. Some believe the ICD-10 delay was added in order to appease physician groups.

What does that mean for Office Practicum? It means that users will be able to gradually adjust to new coding nomenclatures and get used to our integrated searching solution in phases. Meaningful Use requires SNOMED codes to be used for problem lists and other items. Our users can begin to familiarize themselves with ICD-9 to SNOMED mapping via our integrated Health Language search engine.

What about the additional diagnosis codes on claims? Office Practicum will still incorporate the ability to use up to 12 diagnosis (4 maximum per CPT in accordance with standards guidelines) on each claim in OP 14.

ICD-10 delays give you more breathing room, but planning is still necessary

ICD-10 delays give you more breathing room, but planning is still necessary

Will there be more information over the coming year? Absolutely! Our planned series of specific ICD-10 informational webinars will be moved to later in 2014 and early 2015 in order to move educational materials closer to the time when you will be using those codes.

Does this mean I can ignore ICD-10 for now? Practices should use the extra breathing room to do their thoughtful workflow diagrams, get their entire office up to speed, create a transition plan, and get basic reference materials/education completed.

Does this mean payers will have more time to get it right? We can only hope so! And we also hope that many payers will stage it in slowly over 2015 so there isn’t a mad rush in October.

Stay tuned for some upcoming information and webinars on using SNOMED codes!