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HHS: ICD-10 deadline now set for Oct. 1, 2014

October 18, 2012

Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius officially announced her department will postpone until Oct. 1, 2014 the deadline by which certain health care entities will have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).

The HHS had been planning to require the use of ICD-10 codes for all diagnosis, as well as inpatient hospital procedure coding, on Oct. 1, 2013.

However, HHS officials announced in March they would push the compliance date back. The department officially gave notice of the new deadline in rules proposed Aug. 27.

The ICD-10 code set, already used in most nations around the world, provides for much more detailed and specific reporting of health conditions than the now-used ICD-9 codes, the HHS noted. Use of ICD-10 coding can facilitate quality-of-care reporting programs, such as Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and will thereby facilitate implementation of pay-for-performance reimbursement, now being developed by many public and private insurance plans, proponents say.

The HHS offers an ICD-10 Web page (www.cms.gov/ICD10) with news and resources to help health care practitioner implement the new coding system.

The Web page includes a link to an online “widget” practitioners can use identify and take action on the benchmarks they will need to meet to ensure smooth transitions to the ICD-10 codes.

The AOA is preparing a comprehensive education program to assist optometrists in implementing the ICD-10 codes.

Information on the implementation of ICD-10 codes in optometric practices can be found on the AOA website ICD-10 page (www.aoa.org/ICD-10).

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