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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CMS refuses to halt ICD-10-CM implementation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has denied a request from more than 80 state and national physician organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), to halt implementation of ICD-10-CM.

The Dec. 20, 2012, letter to CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner requesting the delay argued that the new set of outpatient diagnosis coding would create additional, unnecessary burdens for America's physicians at a time when many are overwhelmed with other health care system demands and changes.

On Feb. 6, 2013, Tavenner declined the request and said that CMS will move forward with implementing ICD-10 on Oct. 1, 2014. She noted that this already represented a year’s extension beyond the original implementation date of Oct. 1, 2013. Tavenner also said that halting implementation at this point "would be costly, burdensome, and would eliminate the impending benefits" of the investments that many in the industry have already made with respect to implementation.

So, for now, ICD-10 proponents have carried the day, and everyone needs to look for strategies to ease implementation. If you have not already developed an implementation plan, here are some resources to help you.

– Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment for the American Academy of Family Physicians

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