HHS Announces Delay for ICD-10 Compliance

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The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that it will delay the October 1, 2013 date initially set for compliance with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnoses and procedure codes (ICD-10).  A new compliance date has not yet been announced.  Early last week, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner, reported that the time frame for ICD-10 compliance would be re-examined, and her announcement was follow by the HHS announcement on February 16th.  Citing provider concerns regarding the administrative burdens that compliance with ICD-10 will entail, HHS Secretary Sebelius agreed to "reexamine the pace" for the ICD-10 implementation, while also stressing the importance of ICD-10.  The final rule regarding ICD-10 was published on January 16, 2009.  The more than 155,000 codes in the new ICD-10 codes replace the thirty-year-old ICD-9-CM code set, which has only 17,000 codes and lacks the ability to accommodate new procedures and clinical diagnoses.

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