After one month of silence, the federal government has announced that it will reset ICD-10 implementation for Oct. 1, 2015, the earliest date allowed by law.
"We are so happy about this," Lynne Gordon Thomas, CEO of the American Health Information Management Association said in a telephone interview Thursday evening.
"It gets the momentum back. Our fear was that people are going to say 'we don't know when it's going to be. We have so much going on in healthcare right now that you can only concentrate on so many things at one time.' We wanted to make sure this didn't get lost in the shuffle."
The ICD-10 delay was slipped into a larger bill that also delayed implementation of the Sustainable Growth Rate funding formula. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was hustled through Congress just before the SGR cuts were to take effect, and it was quietly signed into law by President Obama.
Since then, frustrated advocates for ICD-10 have been hounding the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for specifics on when they planned to reset a new implementation date for the coding set.