HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces intent to delay ICD-10 compliance date

By Carl Natale
09:58 AM

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius confirmed Wednesday that they will change the ICD-10 timeline.

A HHS press release stated they "will initiate the rulemaking process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10)."

[ICD10 Watch Analysis: The ICD-10 Timeline: It's up for revision not destruction]

On Tuesday, Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said the agency will examine the ICD-10-CM/PCS timeline. Tavenner made the statement at a conference of the American Medical Association (AMA) National Advocacy Conference. The AMA has declared vigorous opposition to the medical coding system citing the cost, complexity and lack of perceived benefit to patients.

Sebelius reaffirmed the federal government's empathy for physicians and support for ICD-coding:

“ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our health care system. We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work through the rulemaking process, with the provider community, to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.”

The changes will come through a rulemaking process that hasn't been announced yet.