Coalition Members Testify about ICD-10 Readiness at U.S. House Subcommittee Hearing
Members of the Coalition for ICD-10 testified at a recent hearing of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health about industry readiness for ICD-10. The full panel of witnesses represented both proponents and opponents of the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 compliance date.
Panelists fielded questions from the subcommittee about ICD-10 implementation, conversion costs, and the impact another delay would have on the healthcare industry, particularly physician practices. Coalition members responded that ICD-10 implementation delays have been disruptive and costly across U.S. healthcare, as well as detrimental to healthcare delivery innovation, payment reform, public health, and healthcare spending.
Excerpts from the testimony are below, along with links to full remarks from the panelists. Video of the hearing is available on the House Energy & Commerce Committee website.
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Testimony from the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing: ICD-10 Implementation Readiness, February 11, 2015
Sue Bowman, MJ, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA, senior director of coding policy and compliance for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), said:
“The industry initially had more than four years after publication of the final rule to prepare for the ICD-10 transition. As a result of the two one-year delays granted by HHS in 2012 and Congress in 2014, the healthcare industry has had more than six years to prepare. This length of time is more than adequate for all segments of the healthcare industry to be ready for the transition.”
Richard Averill, MS, director of public policy for 3M Health Information Systems, said:
“In a time of tight expenditures, if you’re not sure that the date is firm, that’s causing many people to postpone doing the final preparation to be ready. If there’s another delay, the industry won’t believe that we’ll ever move forward, and the transition will become that much more difficult if and when it ever occurs.”
Edwin Burke, MD, physician for Beyer Medical Group, Fredericktown, MO, commented on his practice’s ICD-10 conversion: “We did not have special training. We did not spend any money in preparation. We did not see less patients and our practice did not suffer. What we got was a normal day at the office.”
Carmella Bocchino, executive vice president of clinical affairs and strategic planning, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) noted that using both coding systems, or dual coding, is cost prohibitive for payers and providers beyond short-term test runs. “Running dual systems is just not feasible—it’s very costly. What plans are doing on Oct. 1, they’re switching to new algorithms and new codes, two tracks will be too confusing,” she said.
Read the Coalition for ICD-10’s letter to Congress
Read the Premier healthcare alliance’s statement to Congress