The proposed rule explains that three main issues emerged in recent months regarding the previous October 1, 2013 compliance date, leading HHS to reconsider the deadline:
"While we considered a number of alternatives for the delay…we believe a 1-year delay would provide sufficient time for small providers and small hospitals to become ICD-10 compliant and would be the least financially burdensome to those who had planned to be compliant on October 1, 2013," the proposed rule states, estimating that a one-year delay would add an estimated 10%-30% to the total cost of implementation for those entities that have already spent or budgeted for the transition.
Those in the healthcare industry offered mixed reactions to the proposed length of the delay.
“It is disheartening and encouraging in many respects. Disheartening for the facilities and practices who spent the money to prepare for the October 1, 2013 deadline but encouraging for those same people to be ahead of the game now as to breathe a little easier,” says James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, managing director of FTI Consulting in Brentwood, Tenn.
“The best way to prepare for ICD-10 implementation continues [to be] to first practice ICD-9-CM correctly and then negotiate the differences in ICD-10” Kennedy says. This [proposal could] give us another year to get our infrastructure together and fill in the documentation and coding gaps so facilities can be ready to adapt to ICD-10.”