CMS asked to stay firm on ICD-10 date

In a Feb 7 letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) expressed "strong support" for maintaining the Oct. 1, 2014 implementation date for nationwide ICD-10 adoption.

HIMSS officials emphasized in their letter that ICD-10 has already been thoroughly vetted and should move forward "to realize the significant advantages of healthcare transformation."

Advantages cited by HIMSS in the letter include: 

  • Enhanced patient experience.
  • Emphasis on health IT as the groundwork for overall healthcare transformation.
  • Quality of population health and healthcare delivery improvement.
  • Elimination of waste by improving clinical and business intelligence.
  • Saving costs in avoiding loss of billions of dollars in already invested efforts in preparing for ICD-10.

HIMSS also outlined its education efforts to support providers and provider organizations with ICD-10 transition, including its ICD-10 Playbook and the HIMSS/Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange ICD-10 National Pilot Program, currently in development.

HIMSS officials noted that the "improvement and standardization of electronic transactions has already proven to be a beneficial cost savings to the industry and must continue progress in this area or we stand to lose these savings."

HIMSS strongly encouraged CMS to avoid any further delays in the ICD-10 adoption date, and noted that "any further delays in ICD-10 will only signal that CMS is not serious about administrative simplification and HIPAA requirements."