ICD-10 delay heads to president

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Senate yesterday passed a “doc fix” bill that delays ICD-10 implementation for one year, until Oct. 1, 2015, according to news reports.

The House of Representatives passed a similar bill on March 27.

The “doc fix” bill, which now heads to the president’s desk, prevents a 24% cut in physician pay for another year, until April 1, 2015.

It’s the 16th time that Congress has passed such a patch on physician pay, rather than come up with a permanent fix, according to reports.

Reaction to the ICD-10 delay was mixed. While it gives breathing room to some organizations, it frustrates others that have committed resources to transitioning to the new set of codes by the original deadline, Oct. 1, 2014, according to reports.

Like the House bill, the Senate bill did not address competitive bidding.

“Although we’re disappointed that Congress didn’t include fixes for Medicare’s poorly managed bidding program, we’ll continue to get cosponsors for H.R. 1717 and look for another piece of legislation that can carry its provisions,” said Tom Ryan, president and CEO of AAHomecare, in a statement.

H.R. 1717, which would replace the competitive bidding program with a market-pricing program (MPP), currently has 171 co-sponsors.