Bill Would Prohibit HHS From Mandating ICD-10 Transition

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Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) has introduced a bill (HR 1701) that would prohibit HHS from mandating that health care providers switch to ICD-10 code sets, ICD-10 Watch reports (Natale, ICD-10 Watch, 4/25).

About ICD-10

U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes.

In August 2012, HHS released a final rule that officially delayed the ICD-10 compliance date until
Oct. 1, 2014.

In December 2012, the American Medical Association — along with 42 state medical organizations and 40 medical specialty groups — sent a letter urging CMS to halt the implementation of ICD-10 code sets and instead find an “appropriate replacement” for ICD-9 code sets.

Previous Comments From Poe

During a speech on the House floor earlier this month, Poe called the ICD-10 mandate “red tape” and “bureaucracy.” According to Poe, complying with the new ICD-10 coding system will cost about $80,000 for individual doctors and about $250,000 for physician practices with five to 10 doctors.

He also noted that the level of detail required for ICD-10 coding would pose challenges for health care providers (iHealthBeat, 4/11).

Legislation Details

Poe’s bill states that it would “prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services [from] replacing ICD-9 with ICD-10 in implementing the HIPAA code set standards” (ICD-10 Watch, 4/25).

The legislation has been introduced to the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees (Linder, Becker’s Hospital Review, 4/29).

Both committees need to approve HR 1701 before it can advance to the full House (ICD-10 Watch, 4/25).

Source:; April 30, 2013

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