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'Doc fix' bill also delays ICD-10 for at least a year

The bill approved by the House of Representatives and Senate to avert a 24 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for physicians also included a delay in the implementation date of the nationwide conversion to the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural codes for at least a year.

The ICD-10 conversion was scheduled to occur on Oct. 1, 2014. However, a single sentence in the legislation states, “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for code sets” and finishes by citing sections in the Social Security Act and the Code of Federal Regulations where the secretary’s authority to mandate ICD-10 are located. This action was greeted with relief by some who were worried that the industry could not be ready by October of this year and with frustration by others upset that those who have invested money in meeting this year’s deadline must now wait for at least another year for others to catch up. more

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