As part of President Obama’s commitment to reducing regulatory burden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius announced on February 16 that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).
The final rule adopting ICD-10 as a standard was published in January 2009 and set a compliance date of October 1, 2013, — a delay of two years from the compliance date initially specified in the 2008 proposed rule. HHS will announce a new compliance date moving forward.
“ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our health care system,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.”
ICD-10 codes provide more robust and specific data that will help improve patient care and enable the exchange of our health care data with that of the rest of the world that has long been using ICD-10. Entities covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will be required to use the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.