Congress Targeting ICD-10 Again

ICD-10 is back in the news once again due to two members of the House introducing new legislation targeting the October 1st implementation. Many parties assumed ICD-10 was set in stone once Congress passed the SGR fix without adding any changes to the current ICD-10 timeline.

Republican Rep. Ted Poe introduced the first bill, titled the “Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015,” on April 30th. This bill proposed indefinitely prohibiting the government from implementing ICD-10 in order to prevent un- necessary strain on the medical community that could negatively affect patient care. The bill has been referred to committee, where despite its six co-sponsors, it faces an uphill challenge to actually make it to the House floor for a vote.

Republican Rep. Diane Black introduced a second bill on May 12, the “ICD-TEN Act,” that seeks to create an easier and more transparent transition phase to ICD-10 lasting 18 months. The goal of the transition phase is to prevent excessive claim denials due to the use of unspecified codes or inaccurate sub-codes. The bill also requires Medicare to demonstrate to Congress that the ICD-10 system is functioning as efficiently as the ICD-9 system
in regards to how many claims it approves. This bill currently has five co-sponsors and has also been referred to committee for review.

As recent calls for another delay of ICD-10 have been rejected, Rep. Black’s bill to add a transition period likely has a better chance of making it to the House floor and the President’s desk. Either way, providers should contin- ue preparing for the October 1st deadline.

Brandon McCurdy