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AHIMA Comments on CMS’ Plan to Reexamine ICD-10 Timeline

In response to the recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner that she would “reexamine” the ICD-10 implementation timeframe through a rulemaking process, AHIMA encouraged the healthcare community to continue to prepare for the ICD-10 transition and not delay or suspend efforts to meet the ICD-10 current compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2013.

“This is a promise from CMS to examine the timeline, not to change it,” said Dan Rode, MBA, CHPS, FHFMA, vice president for advocacy and policy at AHIMA.  “But government officials are sending mixed signals that many in the healthcare community will interpret as a reason for delay.  This concerns AHIMA and our constituents as any delay in the transition preparation for ICD-10 will both increase actual costs and may diminish the value of other Health and Human Services (HHS) programs, including meaningful use.”

“We need to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal of ICD-10 implementation,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE.  “There are tremendous long-term benefits that will come from the use of a 21st Century classification system, such as ICD-10, to both healthcare providers and patients. AHIMA urges all in the healthcare community to continue with their ICD-10 planning efforts.”

In the wake of the announcement, AHIMA will provide comments to the CMS administrator highlighting areas of concern especially as it relates to the investment that has already been made by many healthcare providers, health plans, public health and quality organizations as well as HHS itself.  “AHIMA members across the country have reached out to assist those who need help in understanding ways to implement ICD-10, but the government and industry must also understand that huge investments have been made in good faith since early 2009 to meet the current deadlines and accomplish the goal of quality, efficient healthcare through the use of quality health information,” Rode said.

“All of us are working hard to surmount the multiple demands being made on our industry,” added Thomas Gordon.  “AHIMA and our members are fully committed to helping the healthcare community make a smooth transition to ICD-10.”

Source: AHIMA