The United States Senate voted on the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) bill on April 14, 2015. The bill passed and didn’t include any reference to an ICD-10 delay. This means that the implementation date for ICD-10 is still set for October 1, 2015—good news. This should create an urgency to prepare for the implementation of ICD-10.
Last year, language to delay ICD-10 for 12 months was included in the SGR legislation. The postponement of ICD-10 was the third in 6 years. This blindsided the healthcare community and discouraged ICD-10 proponents who were left wondering if the code set would ever see the light of day. With the passing of this year’s bill and omission of any further ICD-10 delay legislation; those concerns now appear to be behind us.
Rhonda Buckholtz is AAPC’s vice president of ICD-10. She said the following about this bill not including any language about an ICD-10 delay. “ICD-10’s momentum has never been stronger. Healthcare professionals who have been watching from the sidelines should begin preparing immediately, if they haven’t already.”
ICD-10 will replace the ICD-9 code set used by medical coders and billers to report healthcare diagnoses and procedures. Its implementation will drastically change the way documentation and coding is done. This means that medical coders and billers need to start preparing for this implementation now so by October 1, 2015 they are proficient in the ICD-10 code set.