Earlier this month, the House of Representatives proposed the implementation of a ICD-10 “grace period” to help physicians and healthcare providers transition from ICD-9 into ICD-10.
Within the proposed two-year window under H.R. 2652, healthcare providers’ coding errors would not mean a denial of ICD-10 based claims submitted to Medicare and Medicaid. Physicians would hopefully be better alleviated from negative ICD-10 aftermath. Payments would not be withheld and penalizations would not go into effect within the “grace period.”
There is also a second bill that was introduced in May requiring an 18-month transition period to test the submittal of ICD-10 claims during which time providers would not be penalized.
Both bills have received significant opposition from the Coalition for ICD-10, which says that ICD-10 will “not be a burden for physicians” stating that “much of the expanded detail in ICD-10 is very basic information that should be readily available in the medical record.”
Even though there is still resistance ICD-10 implementation, many physicians do believe that ICD-10 will bring better data and in some cases, will make coding easier since one code better describes comorbid conditions which required multiple codes under ICD-9.
At this point, make sure your practice is prepared and that you have all hands on deck come October 1. Are you ready for ICD-10?