In comments submitted yesterday to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CHIME called the decision to postpone ICD-10 by one year an appropriate “middle ground” for all stakeholders and urged the agency to remain committed to ICD-10.
In the letter, CHIME stated that “a longer delay would seriously disrupt ongoing efforts to convert to ICD-10” and would significantly increase the costs of converting, thus creating additional problems for organizations.
“We compliment HHS for the timing of this announcement and for their prompt consideration of the issue,” said Sharon Canner, CHIME’s Senior Director of Advocacy. “Many organizations have made, or are planning for, substantial investments in technology, training and education. The ICD-10 code set will also introduce a new level of data granularity for doctors and hospitals that will ultimately lead to better outcomes.”
CHIME also expressed its support for the unified approach proposed by HHS to ensure that all providers have the same compliance date. For the conversion to ICD-10 to proceed smoothly, the organization recommends that all segments of the provider community work within the same timeframes. However, if HHS decides to entertain different ICD-10 compliance deadlines for different covered entities, CHIME said it would be most useful to set an earlier compliance date for payers.
Finally, CHIME recommended that HHS move steadily towards its proposed compliance deadline for ICD-10 and dismiss calls to “leapfrog” from ICD-9 to ICD-11.
“Everyone in the healthcare IT world is working against numerous deadlines,” said George Hickman, executive vice president and CIO at Albany Medical Center. “But it’s vitally important for those of us planning, budgeting and implementing these projects to know when those deadlines are coming. ICD-10 is a major undertaking, and we encourage HHS to be vigilant in monitoring industry readiness, while making clear its intentions regarding the final compliance date.”
To read CHIME’s comment letter to HHS, click here.