The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius announced on February 16, 2012 that HHS will be delaying the compliance deadline associated with the implementation of International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10). The proposed regulation was initially set to be effective October 1, 2011; however, in January of 2009 the implementation date was delayed to October 1, 2013. A new implementation date has not yet been confirmed; however the delay has provided a sense of relief to the industries who are impacted by the use of ICD-9 codes.
The switch to ICD-10 codes, when enacted, will not only have an impact on the medical provider community, but also on the insurance arena. As MMSEA Section 111 Reporting currently involves the usage of ICD-9 codes to communicate diagnoses of Medicare beneficiaries to CMS, RREs and reporting agents will be required to implement the necessary changes to their data submission processes to switch over to ICD-10. With the announcement of this delay, the industry should, hopefully, now have ample time to make the necessary internal changes to meet the deadline. The delay is certainly welcome by those who participate in the MMSEA Section 111 process.