Finally. The medical community—not just the physicians, but especially those with medical coding, medical transcription, and even medical office assistant training —can now heave a collective sigh of relief for the extra time to prepare for what’s undoubtedly the most extensive revision of the way it processes medical data for storage, retrieval, and payment purposes.
This August, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the one-year proposed delay in the implementation of the new medical code set ICD-10 (otherwise known as the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision) is now final, moving the compliance date from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct.1, 2014 and putting an end to contentious debates over the merits of implementing the new code set.
The announcement actually was embodied in a final rule issued by HHS that, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will save doctors and other healthcare providers money, resources, and time because of its implementation of a unifying health plan identifier (HPID).
HHS also announced important initiatives to help healthcare providers throughout the industry save over $21 billion over ten years.
First, it adopted new standards to accommodate healthcare electronic funds transfers (EFT) and remittance-advice transaction involving healthcare providers and health plans.
Second, it adopted rules involving two electronic healthcare transactions to facilitate determining patient eligibility for coverage, as well as to establish the status of a healthcare claim by a health insurer.
Third, HHS published an IFC adopting operating rules for electronic remittance-advice transaction as well as for healthcare EFT.
What’s your take? Please share your thoughts on ICD-10 in general and the delayed compliance date.
About the Author: Guest contributor, Paula J. Almonte works as a freelance writer and specializes in writing about the health care industry.