The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is on track with the implementation of ICD-10, and no further delays should be expected. That was the message in the “CMS ICD-10 Report on State of the Union” presentation delivered Wednesday by Denise M. Buenning, BA, MsM, deputy director for Office of E-Health Standards and Services at CMS, at the 2013 AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS and Computer-Assisted Coding Summit that took place in Baltimore, MD this week.

“I have absolutely no reason to believe this (ICD-10) deadline will move again. The industry has invested billions of dollars in this transition and we recognize the benefits of ICD-10 in an e-health ecosystem,” Buenning said. “It would be problematic to delay or skip 10 and go to 11. The Secretary and Administrator are dedicated to see this go in 2014. I have heard nothing to think otherwise.”

Buenning addressed ICD-10 within the entire context for what CMS calls “e-health,” emphasizing that ICD-10 is integrated into something larger—a health ecosystem that includes easier data sharing, interoperability, better quality measurements, better efficiencies, lower costs, and enhanced fraud and abuse detection. Further, she shared that the enhanced detail in ICD-10 will assist with business intelligence and determining risk factors.

Providing a general overview of today’s implementation status, Buenning shared that:

  • Medicare implementation is on track. Two-thirds of the overall program is on track and system updates are nearly three-quarters complete. Testing starts now.
  • State Medicaid agencies conducted a State assessment in January 2013 and the response rate was 94 percent. Ninety-eight percent of the respondents stated they will meet the compliance date. Another assessment will be done in May 2013.
  • Providers are moving forward with health plans, clearinghouses, large physician practices, and hospitals on target for ICD-10 implementation. Small physician practices require more technical assistance to prepare.
  • Vendors continue to have discussions with their customers to prepare for ICD-10.

 

CMS wants to ensure that the industry is ready and that healthcare delivery is not interrupted.

One of the major focuses of implementation efforts is ensuring the readiness of state Medicaid agencies. CMS has implemented a plan to help accommodate the agencies, taking into account resource constraints. The working plan includes:

  • Quarterly online ICD-10 self-assessments
  • An ICD-10 implementation handbook
  • State ICD-10 collaboration site
  • ICD-10 bi-weekly state forum
  • ICD-10 site visit training
  • ICD-10 policy briefs
  • Health condition categories to help align the needs of the specific state Medicaid agencies

 

In addition to the state Medicaid agencies, Buenning outlined the efforts and successes of a multitude of Federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Indian Health Service.

In closing, Buenning stated that “the country’s e-health future is dependent on the sharing of healthcare data among stakeholders that comprise a national health information infrastructure.” According to Buenning, ICD-10 is an alignment of e-health initiatives including meaningful use, quality measures, and payment reform, all of which are targeted toward:

  • Better care at lower cost through improvement
  • Improved population health and prevention
  • Expanded healthcare coverage

 

For further information on the CMS ICD-10 initiatives, visit www.cms.gov/Medicare/coding/ICD10/index.html.