Although, the suspense will continue because the vote on H.R.4302 still needs to be sent to the Senate by March 31, 2014. H.R.4302 is, “To amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes.”
Section 212 of H.R.4302 includes language that would delay ICD-10 until 2015. This language has not appeared in previous versions. The language states:
SEC. 212. DELAY IN TRANSITION FROM ICD–9 TO ICD–10 CODE SETS
The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.
In large, the bill aims to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other programs impacted by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Congress has attempted to repeal this in the past.
It was an interesting series of events today:
- The bill initially passed by voice,
- The vote was postponed because a quorum was not present,
- The bill was considered unfinished business, then
- The bill was passed by voice.
What are at stake are significant and extended implementation costs, delays in EHR ROI for many healthcare organizations, continued impacts on academic programs, and an unfortunate delay of the anticipated improvements in care based on expanded data. CMS estimates that a one (1) year delay could cost between $1 billion to $6.6 billion. This is approximately 10-30% of what has already been invested.
If you are directly working on ICD-10 for your organization, you’ll want to stay tuned to H.R.4302 over the coming days.