Hospital groups urge Congress to avoid further ICD-10 delays

AHA News

In a Dec. 5 letter to congressional leaders, the AHA and seven other national hospital organizations urged Congress to avoid any further delays in the Oct. 1, 2015 transition to the ICD-10 coding system.

 “Recent ICD-10 implementation delays have been disruptive and costly for hospitals and health systems, as well as to health care delivery innovation, payment reform, public health, and health care payment,” the organizations wrote congressional leaders. They said “ICD-9 is outdated and ICD-10 is needed to keep up with advances in medicine and ensure accurate payment.”

After several delays, most recently to comply with a provision in the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, the Department of Health and Human Services in July issued a final rule requiring health care providers and other entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to begin using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes on Medicare and other health care claims on Oct. 1, 2015. 

In addition to the AHA, the letter to congressional leaders was signed by America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children’s Hospital Association, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, Premier Healthcare Alliance, and VHA Inc. 

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House committees back deadline. The House Energy & Commerce and Rules committees recently expressed their support for the ICD-10 deadline. In a joint statement issued Dec. 10, the chairmen of the two committee said there should be no further delays in implementing the new coding system. “We heard from a number of interested parties concerned about falling behind or halting progress,” they said. For more on the statement, click on:

New video helps explain ICD-10 basics. Inother ICD-10 news, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released a video detailing the characteristics and unique features of the ICD-10-CM coding system, as well as similarities and differences between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM.

On the video, Nelly Leon-Chisen, the AHA’s director of coding and classification, and Sue Bowman, the American Health Information Management Association’s senior director of coding policy and compliance, discuss the ICD-10-CM coding structure and explain how to assign diagnosis codes using ICD-10. The video also highlights free resources that coders can use as they prepare for the transition to ICD-10. To watch the video, click on:

The AHA’s ICD-10 webpage has resources, including an updated ICD-10 Executive Action Guide, that member hospital and health system leaders can use to help with their transition to ICD-10. Go to and click on ICD-10.

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: ICD-10

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