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What a week! What’s Next With ICD-10?

As you know, on Monday March 31, the Senate voted 64-35 to pass a House-approved measure (HR 4302) that would delay a scheduled 24% cut to Medicare physician reimbursement rates and push the ICD-10 compliance deadline to 2015. President Obama then signed the bill into law on Tuesday, April 1. In the healthcare finance community there is relief and aggravation depending on whom you talk to, along with questions about how CMS and congress are going to proceed. Will Oct. 1, 2015, in fact become the new deadline for transitioning to ICD-10? Can organizations that are ready to implement ICD-10 do so voluntarily? And a big question: will CMS just wait for ICD-11, due to be released in 2017?

Based on the timeframe required to Americanize ICD-10, it would take until almost 2020 to implement ICD-11. Regardless of the code set, efficient business processes that accurately capture and validate that data are correct and complete will remain vital to optimize reimbursement, compliance and overall financial performance.

What is your hospital’s reaction to this turn of events? How are you adjusting and planning? We’d love to hear your thoughts.