As expected, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS“) officially set the ICD-10 compliance date for October 1, 2015. Previously, providers and payors had until October 1, 2014 to transition from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 Procedure Coding System. However, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 prevents HHS from adopting ICD-10 before October 1, 2015, and a final rule (here) published by HHS on August 4, 2014, set the official compliance date.
The one-year delay allows providers and payors additional time to prepare for the implementation of the costly ICD-10 coding system. The American Medical Association (“AMA“) reported, for example, that a small physician practice can expect to spend anywhere from $56,639 to $226,105 to prepare for ICD-10 implementation. While the AMA continues to urge regulators to ease this burden on providers, the compliance date has been set, and providers and payors must use this year to properly prepare for the transition in the hopes of minimizing cash-flow interruptions that could hinder the provision of patient care.
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