HIMSS tells feds: Keep ICD-10 start date

The Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has submitted a letter to the federal government, calling for maintaining the Oct. 1, 2014 implementation date for nationwide ICD-10 adoption.

The Feb. 7 letter, sent to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, expressed, once again, “strong support” for maintaining the revised start date.

In its letter, HIMSS officials sought to send a "strong message" to the federal government that ICD-10 has already been thoroughly vetted and should move forward "to realize the significant advantages of healthcare transformation."

[See also: Most providers hiring third-party help for ICD-10 switchover.]

Advantages cited by HIMSS in the letter include:  

  • Enhanced patient experience;
  • Emphasis on health IT as the groundwork for overall healthcare transformation;
  • Quality of population health and healthcare delivery improvement;
  • Elimination of waste by improving clinical and business intelligence;
  • Saving costs in avoiding loss of billions of dollars in already invested efforts in preparing for ICD-10.

HIMSS also outlined its education efforts to support providers and provider organizations with ICD-10 transition, including its ICD-10 Playbook and the HIMSS/Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) ICD-10 National Pilot Program, currently in development.

HIMSS officials noted that the "improvement and standardization of electronic transactions has already proven to be a beneficial cost savings to the industry and must continue progress in this area or we stand to lose these savings."

[See also: ICD-10 'storm' posing dilemmas for health information management strategies.]

HIMSS strongly encouraged CMS to avoid any further delays in the ICD-10 adoption date, and noted that "any further delays in ICD-10 will only signal that CMS is not serious about administrative simplification and HIPAA requirements."