The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a one-year delay to the compliance date for the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The new code sets, used to classify diseases and health problems, will include approximately 155,000 codes for new diagnoses and procedures which are intended to aid in quality improvement and payment. While the currently-used ICD-9 codes are mainly 3-5 numeric digits, ICD-10 codes are alphanumeric and can contain up to seven characters.
HHS’ Regulatory Impact Analysis estimates a cost avoidance of between $3.6 billion and almost $8 billion as a result of the delay, because of healthcare providers who would not have been prepared to implement ICD-10 by the original October 1, 2013 deadline. HHS officials stated in a summary of the final rule, “We are allowing more time for covered entities to prepare for the transition to ICD-10 and to conduct thorough testing.”
Medical billing software like Medisoft, Lytec, or Allscripts MyWay will need to be updated to use the ICD-10 code set once the deadline approaches. For the latest versions of these packages, please contact a Microwize Technology healthcare IT consultant.