Yesterday, Monday March 31, the Senate passed a bill 64-35 that would delay the implementation of ICD-10 another year. The switch will happen on October 1, 2015 delaying it from October 1st of 2014. The bill also delayed the scheduled 24% reduction in Medicare reimbursement to physicians.
Russell Branzell, President and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives was critical of the bill. He stated "Further delay of ICD-10 discredits the considerable investment made by stakeholders across the country to modernize health care delivery." Branzell also noted "Providers have already dedicated significant time and resources in financing, training and implementing the necessary changes to workflow and clinical documentation. Any disruption to the ICD-10 transition at this stage would be detrimental."
In contrast, last month, the President of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, said she was worried that physician and physician groups would not be ready for the switch. This sentiment was backed up in an article on iHealthBeat.com which quoted Medical Group Management Association senior policy adviser Robert Tennant. He believes the delay is "recognition that the industry is simply not ready for the transition."
This delay is a life line for medical groups who weren't prepared. In an exclusive medicalgroups.com interview, the California leader in revenue cycle management, Medvision, Inc. CEO Alex Wang, has urged his clients not to delay any longer. "We strongly urge our physician’s and physician groups to not delay in preparations for implementation, but rather continue to ready staff and systems for the transition."By: Tommy King Co-Founder & CEO MedicalGroups.com