ICD-10 Delay Not Included in Current Proposed ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill
***Update 12/15/14: The Cromnibus bill passed the US Senate Saturday night in a rare weekend session. The bill does not include any amendments delaying ICD-10.
***Update 12/12/14: The Cromnibus bill narrowly passed the US House of Representatives on Thursday night and did not include any amendments delaying ICD-10. A short term continuing resolution was also passed to fund the federal government until midnight on Saturday to allow the US Senate time to vote on the bill.
A $1.1 trillion spending plan bill was filed by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives Tuesday night that, if passed by Congress by Thursday night, will avoid a government shutdown. The “Cromnibus” bill does not include any language delaying the implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS despite lobbying attempts by select physician groups to have a two-year delay inserted into the bill.
While ICD-10 advocates welcomed the news, the Coalition for ICD-10 has cautioned supporters of the October 1, 2015 implementation date that it is still possible for legislators in either the House or Senate to insert an amendment that delays ICD-10 before it is voted on this week. Therefore, the Coalition, which includes AHIMA and other healthcare stakeholders, is continuing its advocacy efforts to ensure no delay language is included in the bill.
The House and Senate would need to vote on the bill, officially titled H.R. 83 – Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, before midnight on Thursday in order to avoid a government shutdown and extend government funding until Sept. 30, 2015.
But to allow Senators more time to review the bill before they cast a vote (and the President time to review before signing), rumors have circulated in Washington, DC that a stopgap measure will need to be extended for two to three days, according to Margarita Valdez, AHIMA’s senior director of congressional relations.
The government funding agreement, reached by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), is referred to as the Cromnibus bill since it is part continuing resolution, a stopgap spending measure, and part long-term omnibus spending measure, according to ABC News.
Groups on both sides of the ICD-10 implementation debate have focused on the fiscal 2015 Cromnibus bill since it is considered a “must pass” piece of legislation brought before the “lame duck” Congress prior to their year-end adjournment, Valdez said.
The Coalition for ICD-10 is urging its members and other supporters of ICD-10 to continue to contact their members of Congress via phone calls and e-mails to support the October 1, 2015 compliance date and prevent any delay amendments from being inserted into the Cromnibus bill. AHIMA members have also been encouraged to Tweet members of Congress with the hashtag #ICD10Matters and to use AHIMA’s online Advocacy Assistant to locate their representatives and senators.