HHS Finalizes One-Year Delay of ICD-10 to 2014

Today, HHS issued a final rule (pdf) that officially changes the compliance date of ICD-10 from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014.

In April, HHS proposed to delay the ICD-10 compliance date to Oct. 1, 2014, and it stayed with that option because it "is most likely to minimize the costs of delay and to maximize the benefits to providers who need more time to implement," according to the final rule.

HHS estimated that the one-year delay of ICD-10 could cost a hospital with 400 or more beds up to $6.16 million. Hospitals with 100 to 400 beds could lose up to $1.85 million, and hospitals with fewer than 100 beds could be affected by $310,000.

"Weighing the risks and consequences of a disruption to healthcare claim payments…we believe that a one-year delay in the implementation date strikes the best regulatory balance," HHS officials wrote. "It is our best judgment that, to go forward with the original compliance date would risk disruptions on many levels, while a delay of any more than a year would incur costs that could not be justified in the name of avoiding risk."

Also in the final rule, HHS finalized the establishment of a unique health plan identifier.  Currently, when a hospital bills a health plan, that plan may use a wide range of different identifiers that do not have a standard format. Consequently, hospitals and other providers could run into time-consuming problems, such as misrouting of transactions and difficulty determining patient eligibility. HHS expects HPIDs to save up to $6 billion over the next 10 years.

"These new standards are a part of our efforts to help providers and health plans spend less time filling out paperwork and more time seeing their patients," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.

More Articles on ICD-10:

How Should Small Hospitals Prepare for ICD-10?

On the Coding Radar: 3 Reasons Why Hospital CEOs Must Pay Attention to ICD-10

ICD-10 or ICD-11? The Dilemma Behind Both Coding Systems

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