Congress introduces yet another ICD-10 modification bill

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Attempts to derail the Oct. 1 ICD-10 go-live date are still coming in strong, as Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tom Price (R-N.C.) introduced the Code-FLEX Act Friday.

The Act, H.R. 3018, proposes allowing healthcare providers to submit both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for a 180-day transition period. During the proposed transition period, public and private payers would continue to process and pay out claims, as applicable, regardless of the code in which claims are submitted.

"The Code-FLEX act would give physician practices much-needed flexibility and provides a window of time to address inevitable system issues," said Robert Tennant of the Medical Group Management Association told ICD10 monitor. This would ensure that claims are processed and paid in a timely manner and that physicians would continue to be able to provide care to their patients."

However, CMS released additional guidance July 6 for the ICD-10 transition date allowing flexibility in claims auditing and quality reporting. Under this guidance, providers have a one-year transition period during which Medicare claims will not be denied or audited solely based on the specificity of diagnoses codes as long as they still come from the appropriate family of ICD-10 codes, among other flexibilities.

The CMS guidance does not permit for ICD-9 codes, or dual ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding, after Sept. 31, 2015.

More articles on ICD-10:

15 things to know about ICD-10
Why even the most prepared providers aren't ready for ICD-10
June ICD-10 testing produces 90% claims acceptance rate

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