HHS proposes new ICD-10 implementation deadline

Earlier in 2012, it was announced by the United States department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the deadline to implement the coding provisions put forth under ICD-10 would be delayed from the initial October 2013 deadline.

After making this announcement, an article published by InformationWeek suggested that some medical industry professionals thought the delay would be indefinite, or perhaps until 2015 when a draft of the coding requirements under ICD-11 are set to be released at the World Health Organization.

However, while the ICD-10 implementation deadline was in limbo for multiple weeks, HHS recently came forth to propose a concrete one-year extension of the original start date, meaning that healthcare providers would have until October 2014 to get the necessary coding metrics in order.

Not surprisingly, the new proposed deadline has been met with the same mixed responses that were generated from professionals in the healthcare industry when the extension was initially announced.

For example, in an interview with FierceHealthIT, Albert Oriol of The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives mentioned, "It's good that we have a target to shoot for. Having that new target allows those of us who are in relatively decent shape [on the ICD-10 transition] to see what things can be slowed down to focus on other priorities."

By contrast, representatives from The Medical Group Management Association have stated that in one year, little will have changed to enhance preparedness for the new deadline.

Regardless, with the new proposed implementation date, it would be wise for small facility managers to partner with a medical technology consulting company to help optimize its digital metrics to reduce any stress associated with the forthcoming transition.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.