House passes ‘doc fix’ bill with ICD-10 delay

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today voted to approve a “doc-fix” bill that includes a provision to delay ICD-10 implementation for a year.

The Senate is also expected to take up the measure today.

The House Ways and Means Committee on March 26 released a version of its “doc-fix” bill that includes the following sentence: “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for codes sets,” according to news reports.

The switch to ICD-10 codes is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, 2014, but HME industry advocates have said physicians aren’t ready for the change.

The delay would “give practices the opportunity to upgrade their software and do internal testing so they’ll know exactly what the impact of ICD-10 will mean,” Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor for the Medical Group Management Association, said in a news report.

However, the American Health Information Management Association and the American Medical Association do not support the delay. The former believes another delay will cost the industry time and money, and the latter seeks a more permanent fix to physician reimbursement, according to news reports.