CMS taps 3M for ICD-10 coding translation tool

By Tom Sullivan
09:59 PM

Perhaps this is to be taken as a sign that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not, as some healthcare IT pros no doubt are still hoping, push back the compliance deadline for ICD-10.

CMS on Thursday announced a contract to license 3M’s ICD-10 Code Translation Tool. The agency plans to use the software to convert systems, applications and reports presently in ICD-9 codes to ICD-10.

[Related: Meaningful use and ICD-10 – complimentary or conflicting?]

CMS, according to the a prepared statement, licensed 3M’s tool such that its fiscal intermediaries, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and carriers can use the translation software as well.

Much to the consternation of many in the healthcare realm, CMS has remained steadfast that it will not push back the compliance date for ICD-10 beyond the current October 1, 2013 deadline. But adhering to those dates also means CMS itself must complete the mammoth conversion

[See also: Top 4 jobs ICD-10 will place in high demand.]

It’s just a contract to use a tool, but this deal appears to signify that CMS is gearing up to move ahead with its own ICD-10 migration. If CMS is ready on time, then the safest bet for other providers is to be compliant, too.