AHIMA and ICD-10 Coalition Members Urge HHS to Limit ICD-10 Delay to One Year

Announcement of new implementation date needed to provide clarity to industry

CHICAGO – April 15, 2014 — The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) signed an ICD-10 coalition letter Friday urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to announce Oct. 1, 2015, as the new implementation date for ICD-10 as soon as possible.

The Coalition for ICD-10 represents organizations from across the health care community. The letter to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), was a result of the passage of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which included delaying implementation of the ICD-10 code set until at least October 1, 2015. This is the third time the conversion to ICD-10 has been delayed.

“While the transition to ICD-10 remains inevitable, it is extraordinarily difficult for organizations to make the proper preparations and investments without knowing the implementation date,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “The announcement of the new implementation date will give the industry the clarity necessary to prepare in the most cost-effective, prudent and strategic way.”

In the letter to Administrator Tavenner, the Coalition for ICD-10 explains why the transition is needed quickly: “By allowing for greater coding accuracy and specificity, ICD-10 is key to collecting the information needed to implement health care delivery innovations such as patient-centered medical homes and value-based purchasing. ICD-10 will enable better patient care through better understanding of the value of new procedures, improved disease management, and an improved ability to study and understand patient outcomes, yielding benefits to patients far beyond cost savings.”

In addition to AHIMA, the signatories for the ICD-10 coalition letter included the Advanced Medical Technology Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Medical Informatics Association, BlueCross Blue Shield Association, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Health IT Now Coalition, Medical Device Manufacturers Association and 3M Health Information Systems.