Congress Throws a monkey wrench into ICD-10 Implementation

I don’t know about you, but I am tired. I am tired of being told U.S. healthcare costs too much for too little, but the powers-that-be not having the character to do what is necessary to change it. I am tired of the Affordable Care Act being blamed for all the faults in our health system. I am tired of steps being organized and taken by an entire industry to move toward modernization only to have a group of power-mongers throw the work out. I am tired of politics being played with our healthcare system.

Nothing I have read has any real explanation for why Congress has delayed implementation of the ICD-10. One article suggested that some groups of physicians were rewarded for something that is not at all clear. Since many other physician and industry groups are strongly opposed to such a delay, it is difficult to see what the gain is. Most have no real idea why a delay in ICD-10 implementation was added last week to yet another temporary fix to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) fix, referred to by the media as the ‘doc fix’.

In fact, this decision throws the work of the many players into question. CMS has said they will step back. study the rules, then decide what to do. But what about those in private industry. The insurance carriers and clearinghouses, the hospitals and physician practices, software vendors and software users, those training billing coders and those doing the billing…all who have been working hard to be ready to start using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes on October 1, 2014. It might be costly to make this switch, but dragging it out for another year has just increased the cost. and those of us who are paying that cost are not getting any help from our elected representatives.

I, for one, would vote in a heartbeat for a single-issue candidate whose purpose was a single-payer healthcare system…one payer, one set of rules, one set of expectations to meet!

And, oh yes, you must use the new CMS 1500 claim form, version 02.12, to file your claims. Just be sure to keep using the ICD-9 codes on the claims.


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