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AHIMA: SGR bill will not cause ICD-10 delay

By: Brian Gennusa | April 14th, 2015

AHIMA: SGR bill will not cause ICD-10 delay Blog Feature
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In May 2014, there was an extension to the deadline for the ICD-10 transition. Physicians and practices were largely pleased with the delay as it allowed for time to fix major issues with the new coding system as well as an extra year for providers to update their systems and properly train staff.

As the new deadline quickly approaches, the health care industry has become worried that the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services will call for another delay of the big switch. Many are ready for the new system and eager to begin using ICD-10, which has the potential to allow for more specific and accurate coding.

Passing the SGR bill for improved Medicare

The passing of the SGR bill on March 26 has some wondering if they would soon hear an announcement of another ICD-10 transition delay. After all, Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., proposed amending the bill to delay the switch to October 2017, causing a lot of apprehension across the health care industry. The Journal of the American Health Information Management Association quickly stepped in to dismiss any such fears.

Also known as H.R. 2: the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, the SGR bill serves as a permanent solution to the sustainable growth rate that has led to massive cuts in providers' Medicare payments over the past decade. It passed the House with a vote of 329-37 and is moving on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass with a similar landslide victory.

The bill will The SGR bill will provide a solution to the Medicare sustainable growth rate, but it has some worrying about another ICD-10 delay.

Dismissing fears of ICD-10 delay

The fears of further ICD-10 delay come with the fact that, in 2014, lawmakers made a last-minute edit to SGR legislation that pushed the deadline date to October 2015, and many believed it would happen again. But AHIMA has publicly stated that it does not expect any further edits to the SGR bill that will specify a delay in ICD-10 implementation.

"The bill, H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, did not include any references to ICD-10 implementation or an ICD-10 delay," wrote Journal of AHIMA editor-in-chief Chris Dimick. "While there is the possibility amendments could be added to the bill in the Senate, AHIMA's Washington, D.C.-based advocacy staff has said it does not expect ICD-10 delay language to be added into the bill moving forward."

Nextech encourages practices to continue to prepare for the October 1, 2015 deadline. Contact us to learn more about how Nextech is making the ICD-10 transition as seamless as possible with its EMR that builds the codes while you diagnose.


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