The tale of ICD-10 has been one marked by deferral. So many deadlines were set as firm, only to be pushed back time and again over more than 10 years. In 2014, the healthcare industry suddenly found itself with another deadline pushed back – and now there's talk of yet more delay.
Way back in 2004, we reported that the new year would likely will be beset by controversy surrounding the cost and value of plans to implement new clinical classification codes, with several of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations squaring off with opposing views. "We believe it’s the right time to lay out a road map over the few years to provide some order, some predictability and some awareness of what the industry can accomplish over what period of time," says Theresa Doyle, director of policy for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
[See also: ICD-10 stirs controversy among payers.]
"Be serious about the date." That was the advice of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Kerry Weems, when asked in 2008 about how CMS could help drive the conversion of healthcare diagnostic and billing codes from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets.
[See also: 'When' is critical to driving the switch to ICD-10 says CMS chief.]
As if upgrading the nation’s ICD-9 code set for diseases and treatment to ICD-10 were not challenging enough, now there was this: ICD-11 is not far behind. That's the message T. Bedirhan Üstün, MD, delivered to a packed and nervous audience at the 83rd Annual AHIMA Convention in October 2011. Back when the deadline for ICD-10 conversion was Oct. 1, 2013, we showed how that will be followed by ICD-11 in 2015. Üstün works for the World Health Organization, where he is the team coordinator of classifications, terminologies and standards. His team is developing ICD-11 – which he prefers to call ICD-2015, figuring it will help stave off procrastination when it comes to uptake.
[See also: Hospitals struggle with ICD-10.]
On Aug. 24, 2012, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a rule finalizing a one-year proposed delay – from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014 – in the compliance date for use of ICD-10 codes.
HHS announces rule delaying ICD-10.]
In the spring of 2013, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange announced it had submitted its ICD-10 industry readiness survey to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Its findings continue to show insufficient readiness for the October 2014 transition deadline. "The survey results show that projected timeframes for testing have shifted and many organizations will not begin this task until 2014," said WEDI Chairman Jim Daley.
[See also: WEDI report disappointing findings on ICD-10 readiness to CMS.]
Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national coordinator for healthcare IT, asserted in June 2013 that there would be no extension of the deadline for switching from the ICD-9 medical coding system to ICD-10. The deadline for conversion would remain Oct. 1, 2014. Mostashari made his assertion in a keynote delivered at the HIMSS Media ICD-10 Forum in National Harbor, Md.
[See also: Mostashari: No more ICD-10 extensions.]
"By itself, the implementation of ICD-10 is a massive undertaking," said James L. Madara, MD, executive vice president and CEO of AMA. "Yet, physicians are being asked to assume this burdensome requirement at the same time that they are being required to adopt new technology, re-engineer workflow, and reform the way they deliver care; all of which are interfering with their ability to care for patients and make investments to improve quality."
[See also: ICD-10 cost markedly higher for docs.]
This past spring, in a surprise move, the House of Representatives approved a fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate that included an at-first little-noticed delay to mandatory ICD-10 implementation until Oct, 2015. But not before a public display of political maneuvering that left many wondering if the bill was being rushed.
"I challenge any member to come up here and say I have read this bill," said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). "None of us know what the substance of this bill is."
[See also: House votes to delay ICD-10, fix doc pay.]
8 zaniest ICD-10 codes: The next time you walk into a lamppost, your care providers will know exactly which ICD-10 code to use. This infographic first appeared in the Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Finance News eSupplement, ICD-10 Compliance and Beyond: Completing the Journey.