House Bill Wants Another 18 Month Transition Period for ICD-10

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Rep. Diane Black from Tennessee introduced legislation that would require Medicare to conduct a comprehensive ICD-10 testing process to determine if the Medicare fee-for-service claims processing system is properly functioning. The Increasing Clarity for Doctors by Transitioning Effectively Now (ICD-TEN) Act, requires testing to be available to all providers of services participating in the Medicare fee-for-service programs under parts A and B. The proposed legislation will implement an 18-month transition period, beginning with the October 1st ICD-10 implementation deadline. During this period, no claim submitted for payment by a provider would be denied due to an unspecified or inaccurate code.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) opposes Black's bill that the transition period for ICD-10 should not be a reason for providers to delay learning how to use the new code set. The AHIMA believes that payment disruptions are unlikely because the CMS has made significant efforts in outreach and preparation to help the industry prepare for the transition to ICD-10.

Rep. Ted Poe from Texas has proposed the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, which seeks to prohibit the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services from replacing ICD-9 with ICD-10. In May, the American Medical Association voiced its support of this bill. Proponents of this bill believe that the transition to ICD-10 is overwhelming to providers, who are currently also undergoing a transition to electronic medical records.

Summary by Caroline Smith

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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.