On April 1, President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, delaying the implementation of ICD-10 until October 2015. This congressional move came as a surprise to members of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and members of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS.)
Yesterday at the AHIMA ICD-10 Summit, CMS’ Denise Buenning addressed the delay and answered questions from the audience. She expressed that CMS was just as surprised by the move as everyone else, and that it has been hard on CMS. Rumors had been circling that the cause of the delay was that CMS was not ready, but Buenning denies this and maintains she did not expect the delay from Congress.
Buenning stated that CMS is looking into the law and has plans to develop an option to take to the management level and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary for approval.
In order to prevent any future delays, Buenning stated that CMS intends to communicate better with physicians on the benefits of ICD-10 and will work through various associations, as she believes that they will be much more effective with numbers on their side.
Even with the delay, it is important to be prepared for the transition. You can read more about ICD-10 readiness here – http://www.meditab.com/company/ICD-10-readiness/.