President Signs SGR ‘Patch’ Bill, ICD-10 Officially Delayed

On Tuesday President Obama signed into law a bill that requires the federal goverment to delay the adoption of ICD-10-CM/PCS for at least one year.

The bill, H.R. 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, mainly creates a temporary “patch” to the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR). A seven-line section of the bill states that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot adopt the ICD–10 code set as the standard until at least October 1, 2015. The healthcare industry had been preparing to switch to the ICD-10 code set on October 1, 2014.

In a statement on the Senate vote that took place on Monday, AHIMA officials said they will work to clarify outstanding questions raised by the delay and continue to work with government officials to implement ICD-10.

“AHIMA will seek immediate clarification on a number of technical issues such as the exact length of the delay,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “AHIMA will continue our work with various public sector organizations and agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) along with our industry partners such as the ICD-10 Coalition so that ICD-10 will realize its full potential to improve patient care and reduce costs. These are goals that AHIMA and other healthcare stakeholders and our government leaders all share.”

Since the transition to ICD-10 “remains inevitable and time-sensitive because of the potential risk to public health and the need to track, identify, and analyze new clinical services and treatments available for patients,” AHIMA said in the statement the organization will continue to lend technical assistance and training to stakeholders as they are forced to navigate the challenge of preparing for ICD-10 while still using ICD-9.

Thousands of AHIMA members and ICD-10 proponents contacted their congressional representatives and senators over the last week asking them to vote against the SGR bill and not delay ICD-10.

Click here for more information on the impact of the ICD-10 delay  and read background and details on the US House of Representative’s and Senate’s H.R. 4302 vote.

15 Comments

  1. who are the AHIMA lobbyist? Where can we apply for the job?

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  2. Great news to hear! It gives us more time to focus on learning ICD-10 now.

    Thank you for the update.

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  3. A strategy is desperately needed to set a definitive date. It will be hard to get motivation going for a potential 2015.

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  4. Someone needs to tell CMS. Their website still shows 10/1/2014,

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  5. I am one of the students who have learned exclusively in ICD -10. What shall I do right now? I invested all my resources in this. Right now I have no money, no job and no near future. I just graduated and I was waiting to take the CCS mid April. Paying the rent in the following months it is a fancy dream. Healthcare industry is loosing billion but a delay bill it is pass within few days that shows how much though they put into it.

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  6. I agree with Cristina. What are the students who learned only ICD10 suppose to do. The schools only offer ICD10. Healthcare facilities will only hire with credentials that can only be taken next year for the ICD10 folks. AHIMA what gap measures can you ensure for these students??

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  7. I am completing my training in ICD-10, and hope they do not delay it. If you are a leader with a vision it can happen. If you are a leader with an excuse it will not happen. Generally speaking. Lets get it done and stop finding excuses and start focusing on solutions.

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  8. Good question Mary! Is it something out there for us right now? Saun, sorry to let you know… It already happen, ICD 10 implementation has been delayed at least 1 year.
    Thank you Mr President for encourage us to go to school for a better job, you just sign to cut jobs and make us homeless!

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  9. I feel bad for the students who have learned the ICD-10 code set in the hopes of getting employed soon. I also am a little relieved so that the ones still learning it have more time to do so. Another thought….should we skip ICD-10 all together and just start educating people in ICD-11? Other countries are already using it….

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  10. What unbiased evidence is there that ICD-10 will improve patient care or reduce costs? I understand that experts in health informatics have great confidence in this new system, but that confidence is not widely shared among practitioners that I know.

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  11. I see today that CCHIIM has posted that they will not be testing in ICD-10 until we actually start using ICD-10 for the national code set. I think too many people have been burned and this helps educators now to know what they need to teach.

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  12. I am a student in Minnesota and learned ICD 9 and 10. I would like to see 10 in action now that I have taken the time to learn it. I’m hoping that it will go into effect and not keep being put off. I think we should be taking a class on ICD 11 because it is coming up and I know that they are probably already working on it.

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  13. Wow this is crazy! I was relieved they postponed ICD10. I need time to take the RHIT exam with ICD 9. I was a out to take 10 this summer, but something told me to wait. So sad they keep putting this off. I truly believe they postponed due to the ACA. Keep the faith it will happen! Has too!

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  14. abram kirschenbaum, the problem is that most health care practitioners in the US have zero credibility when they speak against embracing technology, nor does the AMA, and we don’t need an unbiased source to tell us that have more accurate, discrete data describing a condition and its improvement over an episode of care is going to better serve the entire healthcare community. It’s a no-brainer, it’s data, and the importance of accurate discrete data is not really up for debate in every other industry, yet in healthcare we keep finding ways to keep things nice and “fuzzy” so that doctors don’t have to think in concrete terms, when in reality their work is typically far more concrete and regimented than they might prefer to admit. For those exceptions there are always workarounds. When people say “the more cynical folks out there think this is all about denying pay” they are simply saying “cynical old cranky people are cynical, cranky, and old.” Be cynical, old cranky people, and then move away so that those of us with more interest than simply ensuring you get to pay off your student loan bills (which have ballooned thanks to another un-checked industry) more quickly so that you can more quickly pay off the BMW.

    Like many things the rest of the world has left the US in the dust on this while our older school doctors rub their hands furiously together finding ways to delay the inevitably.

    Practitioners largely are absolutely unqualified to pass any judgment on any advances in health IT, dragging their feet all along and demonstrating a constant obsession with pay and reimbursement while the non-credible AMA has been serving as a gatekeeper to an industry that has for many years been deficient in primary care providers. They aren’t helping anything, and they need to move out of the way.

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  15. This is not good for small hospitals with small budgets. I spent a good portion of my departmental budget on ICD-10 training material for all the practitioners and I bought the ICD-10 books to have classes for all the clinic billers and coders. Will these books still be good next year? Who knows.

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