Senate Approves ICD-10 Delay

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In a 64-35 vote Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that extends the ICD-10 deadline to at least Oct. 1, 2015.

The bill, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, largely deals with the delay of a reimbursement cuts to physicians under Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula. The bill shields physicians from a 24 percent reimbursement cut scheduled to take effect April 1, 2014 until at least the end of March 2015, and is the 17th short-term legislative solution to avoiding SGR cuts Congress has passed since 2003.

Passed in the House last week, the bill links this reimbursement delay to a delay of the ICD-10 transition, currently scheduled for Oct. 1, 2014.

In February, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told attendees at HIMSS' annual conference in Orlando, Fla., the Oct. 1, 2014 deadline would not change. "It's time to move on," she said, emphasizing the ICD-10 transition would happen this year as scheduled.

However, the text of the bill clearly prevents Ms. Tavenner, CMS or HHS from making good on her assertion: "The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act."

The bill now heads to President Obama's desk for his review.

More Articles on ICD-10:

Can ICD-10 Be Optional In 2014?
House Passes Bill Linking SGR Patch to ICD-10 Delay
House Passes SGR Bill Including One-Year ICD-10 Delay

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