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Medical Coding News Archives

HHS: No Further Delay for ICD-10

March 29, 2013:

Beth Ford, RHIT, CCS, Clinical/Technical Editor

A recent letter from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates its continued determination to stick to the October 1, 2014, implementation date for ICD-10 despite the American Medical Association’s (AMA) persistent urgings for delay.

The letter, from Robert S. Tagalicod, director of the federal Office of E-Health Standards and Services, to Kathleen Frawley, president of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), was written on behalf of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It was responding to letters from both AHIMA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) advocating for standing firm on the October 2014 implementation date.

In the letter, HHS “agrees with [the] recommendation to continue progress towards to our commitment to the October 2014 compliance date.” Tagalicod writes that HHS “believes that ICD-10 is foundational for health care reform and a cornerstone of several integrated programs that build toward a modernized health care system.”

At the AMA’s annual meeting last fall, the organization restated vigorous opposition to ICD-10 and instead advocated for transition to ICD-11, which is currently in beta-phase testing by the World Health Organization (WHO), with pending finalization expected by 2015. WHO is requesting input into the beta version of ICD-11 using the online revision process throughout the revision period, until the classification is finalized and ready for use with electronic health records and health information systems.

In the HHS response letter, Tagalicod further stated that “CMS has taken action to reinforce this message to the industry and [has] responded to the American Medical Association.”


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