3 things to know about the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015

By Tom Sullivan
03:29 PM
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What could possibly be less disruptive for replacing ICD-9 than ICD-10?
U.S. Capitol

As far as proposed legislation goes, the latest attempt to avoid ICD-10 cuts straight to the point.

Republican Texas Rep. Ted Poe reintroduced what was formerly the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2013 at April’s end, and after a several day delay in posting the text to Congress.gov, it is publicly available.

Whether the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015 will meet the same fate as its predecessor and essentially die on the House floor remains to be seen, but at this point industry consensus suggests its passage is a long shot.

That said, here are three things to know now.

  1. The proposed bill “prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from replacing ICD-9 with ICD-10.” That’s one thing to know about the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2014, of course, and neither ICD-10 advocates nor opponents should be particularly surprised by that intention.
  2. Unlike the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which prevented HHS from mandating the deadline before October 1, 2105, Cutting Costly Codes aims to push ICD-10 back indefinitely. As such, no new compliance deadline is suggested.
  3. The bill also calls on The Government Accountability Office to “conduct a study to identify steps that can be taken to mitigate the disruption on healthcare providers resulting from a replacement of ICD-9.”

Whereas the first two are pretty straightforward, that last provision is likely to raise a number of eyebrows among industry observers.

What, after all, could possibly be less disruptive for replacing ICD-9 than converting to ICD-10?

Related articles: 

ICD-10: What's different this time?

3 ways Congress could still kill ICD-10

Should HHS delay ICD-10 penalty by two years?