In a final rule released on July 31, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed October 1, 2015 as the compliance date for health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses to transition to ICD-10. HHS encourages providers to continue their initiatives to ensure they are prepared to transition to ICD-10 by the compliance date. Providers should stay tuned for information about when Medicare and other plans are prepared for end-to-end testing of ICD-10.
ICD-10 is a tool used to classify diagnoses and procedures on claims submitted to Medicare and private insurers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that ICD-10 codes will provide better support for patient care and will also improve diagnoses of chronic illness. The previous revision, ICD-9-CM, contains outdated terms that are incompatible with advances in technology and medical practice.
While Congress gave HHS the authority to extend the compliance deadline further, HHS noted that requiring implementation by October 1, 2015, will allow the industry to begin reaping the benefits of ICD-10. The industry has devoted significant time and resources into preparing for ICD-10 implementation, and HHS cites concerns that further delay would slow progress and momentum toward full ICD-10 implementation. HHS also projects that the 1-year delay (as opposed to a longer delay) will be less expensive for the industry.
A display copy of the final rule can be found here.