House votes on ICD-10 delay

Dr. Hitchcock news updates

NEW: Updates from the Senate vote.

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The House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday which:

  • Delayed the sustainable growth rate (SGR)-related adjustment to Medicare payments for one year (avoiding a 24 percent reduction in physician reimbursement for Medicare visits).
  • Delayed the auditing of the “two midnight rule” to March 31, 2015 (an effective six-month delay).
  • Delayed the implementation of ICD-10 until Oct. 1, 2015.

ICD-10 delay

If ICD-10 implementation is delayed, I believe the net effect would be positive.  Hospitals will have an opportunity to evaluate ICD-10 solutions in more depth, rather than rushing to implement what they can.

The possible next steps from a legislative perspective are as follows:

  • The bill moves to the Senate where an ICD-10 delay is extremely undesirable.  The Senate can vote on the bill as is, or remove the ICD-10 delay.
  • If the Senate passes a version of the bill without the ICD-10 delay, the bills will likely be sent to committee for reconciliation with a final bill that is a compromise between the two.
  • Alternatively, the House could consider passage of a modified bill that would likely pass both houses.

I expect further action imminently as the SGR issue must be addressed by March 31st to avoid reductions in reimbursement.

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About the Author

Dr. Robert Hitchcock

Robert Hitchcock, M.D., FACEP, is T-System’s VP and CMIO, leading the company efforts for solving regulatory issues and identifying trends. He is a nationally recognized Meaningful Use expert and active member of the HIMSS Physician Committee and other HIMSS subcommittees advocating usability and responding to regulatory issues. Dr. Hitchcock is a practicing ED physician and an Emergency Department Practice Management Association (EDPMA) board member. In 2001, he earned recognition for excellence in teaching from internal medicine residents, and in the early 2000s, he trained basic and advanced life-support EMS providers. His goal is to advance system adoption and usability to improve the quality and efficiency of ED delivery.

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