Healthcare providers can breathe a sigh of relief. Implementation of ICD-10 code sets has been delayed another year thanks to a bill passed in the Senate on March 31. The controversial Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which passed with a vote of 64 to 35, has pushed the compliance deadline to October 1, 2015.
The U.S. is one of only a handful of developed countries that is not yet using ICD-10 code sets, which are said to be more accurate and precise. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is set to release ICD-11 codes in 2017 – just two years after healthcare organizations in America will have started using ICD-10.
Industry response to the ICD-10 delay has been varied thus far. Many organizations have expressed satisfaction with the extra time it gives them to prepare internally for the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 – on top of the other changes that they have had to implement, including installing EMR software.
Others have criticized the delay stating that hospitals and healthcare organizations have already invested a lot of time and money in order to achieve compliance this year. Additionally, according to AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association), a one year ICD-10 delay could cost between $1 billion to $6.6 billion.
Preparing for ICD-10 Ahead of Time
The ICD-10 extension, however, does not mean that physicians and healthcare organizations can put off thinking about upgrade requirements for another year. Preparing for ICD-10 requires extensive planning to ensure that different systems, like billing and practice management software, can all work together to submit claims accurately, allowing providers to get paid.
Those who have not yet started ICD-10 preparations will now have more time to work with software vendors and clearinghouses to ensure compliance, while those already prepared for the transition can continue getting educated on the new code sets and how the transition will affect billing and coding processes.
1st Providers Choice’s 2014 ONC fully certified EMR and Practice Management software is ICD-10 ready. We can help your practice get through a seamless transition. To learn more about our software solutions call 480-782-1116 today!