Straight to ICD-11?

Don’t you think its funny that the webpage notices are titled “ICD-10-CM is coming Oct 1, 2013” with byline “It’s closer than it seems” followed by “HHS Announces Intent to Delay ICD-10-CM”?

So what’s my theory on why CMS “intends” to delay implementation? I have a couple.

First, physicians are raising a big ruckus about ICD-10. I can understand why when Medicare cuts their payment by 27% and then requires compliance with something this huge. So is CMS listening? I think it boils down to it’s an election year and, lo and behold, President Obama decides to reduce regulatory burden by delaying a regulation that has been finalized since 2009. My opinion is that continuing to use an antiquated system like ICD-9-CM increases regulatory burden. Health plans, hospital systems and other payors and providers, including HHS, have spent millions of dollars readying for ICD-10-CM. A delay now will increase the money spent and the time spent.

Second, the United States has long been behind the rest of the world in coding. A friend told me once that the folks at the World Health Organization (WHO) make fun of us because we are so far behind. Those nations now using ICD-10 are getting ready for a move to ICD-11 October 1, 2015. Does that date seem familiar? Just maybe we are going to switch gears, skip ICD-10-CM and we’ll keep up with the rest of the world with ICD-11-CM in our near future, i.e., Oct 1, 2015.

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