New ICD-10 deadline will be Oct. 1, 2014

The idea of an implementation delay was floated in February, but a proposed rule confirms that the deadline will be put off for one year.

By David Glendinning — Posted April 12, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Federal health officials are using an administrative simplification rule to propose delaying by one year the implementation of new diagnosis coding sets used for billing medical services.

ICD-10 diagnosis codes would be required for billing physician services starting on Oct. 1, 2014, according to the April 9 proposed rule from the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Currently, doctors and hospitals use the ICD-9 standard, which contains far fewer individual codes but also permits less specificity when making diagnoses. The proposed rule is expected to be finalized this year after a 30-day comment period.

The American Medical Association led the movement to push off the ICD-10 implementation deadline, citing concerns about doctors’ ability to be compliant by Oct. 1, 2013. The substantial number of new codes that must be learned, combined with initial problems with implementing the new 5010 electronic transaction standards that are a prerequisite for taking on the new code sets, presented a substantial burden for physician offices, the AMA said.

Physicians also were being asked to meet several other quality and health information technology initiatives at the same time as the coding upgrade, including adoption of electronic health records and participation in the physician quality reporting system. The October 2013 deadline would have come at a particularly inopportune time, the Association has said.

Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, signaled to physicians that HHS was re-evaluating the ICD-10 deadline during the AMA National Advocacy Conference in Washington on Feb. 14, but she did not indicate how long the implementation delay would be. The proposed rule formalizes the one-year delay and a plan to establish a unique identifier for health plans.

The proposed rule is the latest in a series of administrative simplification policies authorized by the national health system reform law. HHS estimates that cutting red tape for health professionals and plans will save them up to $4.6 billion in administrative costs during the next decade.

Requiring each health plan to have a single, unique identifier is designed to eliminate problems that arise when plans and other third-party administrators use different identifiers that lack a standard length or format. This can result in processing, payment or eligibility mix-ups, HHS said.

“These important simplifications will mean doctors can spend less time filling out forms and more time seeing patients,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn