Word from Washington
HIM’s Shifting Sands
The Latest News on ICD- 10 and Other HIM Issues
By Dan Rode, MBA, CHPS, FHFMA
16 / Journal of AHIMA April 12
THERE HAS BEEN a great deal of activity in the last few months on ICD-10-
CM/PCS and other HIM issues. Here is
a review of the latest news and events
related to ICD- 10, as well as updates on
AHIMA’s other advocacy issues.
ICD- 10’s Status
The road to ICD- 10 has been long and
winding. The arguments for and against
it go back more than 20 years.
So there was reason to celebrate when
the ICD- 10 final rule was published in
early 2009, even if the compliance deadline was pushed back to accommodate
those who needed extra time. The October 1, 2013, compliance date was considered one that could be planned for
Then in February came the announcement from Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G. Se-belius of a delay to the compliance date.
At press time, no further information had
AHIMA urged those currently implementing ICD- 10 to continue their work.
The association also recommended that
those who have not begun their implementation take steps to do so.
In addition AHIMA called on the secretary to reaffirm the administration’s
commitment to implement and use ICD-
10 and strongly requested the secretary
not delay the compliance date. AHIMA
stressed the system’s benefits, its impact on other healthcare information-re-lated programs, and the huge investment
providers, plans, clearinghouses, and
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services have made over three years to
meet the October 1, 2013, deadline.
The secretary was clear that she under-
stood the value of using ICD- 10 but stat-
ed that the decision to delay was made
after hearing from “many in the provider
community who have concerns about
the administrative burdens they face in
the years ahead.”
However, AHIMA believes this was a
political decision made by the White
House to accommodate small physician
practices who feel overwhelmed by all
the changes related to electronic health
records and health information exchange
and the continued uncertainty related to
Medicare and Medicaid payments due to
Congressional failure to revise the physi-
cian payment system.
ICD- 10 Communication and Education
Over the last few months AHIMA has tried
to give members as much information as
possible so that they understand what is
going on, what steps they can take, and
the association’s efforts. The association
appreciates all member comments, both
supporting and opposing the delay, as
well as members’ local efforts to ensure
that any delay is minimal. These comments give AHIMA a picture of what is
happening in the industry.
A number of state HIM associations
have reached out to physician groups to
help them understand the need for ICD-
10-CM and how to use it, providing them
with information, educational seminars,