The publication of the final rule officially announcing a change in the ICD-10 compliance date from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014, ends the uncertainty surrounding ICD-10 implementation that has plagued the healthcare industry.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) based the decision to move forward with a one-year delay on the conclusion that a significant number of healthcare entities would not be prepared to meet the original compliance date.
WEBCAST: Reboot for ICD-10 - Lessons from UnitedHealth Group
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As HHS noted, it is crucial that all segments of the healthcare industry transition to ICD-10 at the same time. The failure of any one industry segment to successfully implement ICD-10 has the potential to affect all other industry segments. Such failure could ultimately result in returned claims and provider payment delays that disrupt provider operations and negatively impact patient access to care.
Don’t expect another delay
It would be extremely ill-advised for a healthcare organization to count on another delay.
After careful, thoughtful consideration, HHS decided a one-year delay minimized the costs of delay while maximizing the benefits to providers who need more time for implementation. HHS clearly recognizes and acknowledged in the final rule that further delay would seriously disrupt ICD-10 transition efforts and significantly increase conversion costs.
Many healthcare entities have invested significant resources preparing for the transition. A one-year delay will cost an estimated additional 10%-30% on top of the amount commercial health plans and large providers have budgeted for the ICD-10 transition.