On listservs he monitors, which include "quite a few physicians," he's noticed comments like this: "If we're going to delay a year, and ICD-11 really isn't that far away and it's what the doctors want with SNOMED anyway, is this just one delay until the next delay, and then we jump from ICD-9 to ICD-11?"
"It may make sense to just combine it into one effort. I don't know what the wait [for ICD-11] would be and what the trickle effect of issues are. I don't even know if you can go from ICD-9 to ICD-11, [or] if you have to go from nine to 10 and then 10 to 11.
I told Branzell I had looked into this and it seemed like it was much easier to go to ICD-10 first.
"I think it has to do with the documentation requirements. It's much more intuitive for a physician to code and document into a SNOMED environment."
So while the industry fulminates about the underhanded way the newest ICD-10 delay has made its way into the law books, and the cost of delaying the transition are re-tallied, it would be prudent for us to take a moment to also look around and see just how another 12-month delay re-shuffles the deck in the complex game of healthcare IT and payments.
I'm certain that's what U.S. healthcare's CIOs will be doing for the next few days or weeks.