ICD-10: CMS Releases Myths & Facts Handout


Amidst heavy criticism from healthcare professionals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has just released an updated version of its ICD-10 Myths & Facts handout to combat some of their opposers.

October 2014 will be an important month for healthcare as it marks the deadline for implementing ICD-10. More important than the deadline, however, is the months leading up to it, as healthcare providers across the nation work hard to implement the new codes.

Implementing ICD-10 presents challenges for all healthcare providers–big and small, new and old. With 14,400 codes and permits that can be expanded to over 16,000 codes with the use of optional sub-classifications, it’s easy to see why the transition can be difficult. The transition process has been so difficult that the CMS  has pushed back the deadline for implementation multiple times. Recently rumors have circulated that the implementation was set to receive another delay, but the recently released CMS Myths and Facts sheet states that there is no plan to waiver from the October 2014 date.

“All Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)-covered entities must implement the new codes sets with dates of service, or date of discharge for inpatients, that occur on or after October 1, 2014,” reads the Myths and Fact sheet, which was published in April. “HHS has no plans to extend the compliance date for implementation of ICD-10 CM/PCS; therefore covered entities should plan to complete the steps required to implement ICD-10-CM/PCS on October 1, 2014.”

Covered entities that do not implement the new codes face a number of penalties, such as denial of payments, claim rejections and complications collaborating with other healthcare providers.

Additionally, the Myths and Facts sheet suggests entities not covered by HIPPA, such as car insurance companies and Workers Compensation, make the transition to ICD-10. Although non-HIPPA entities do not face the same penalties as covered entities, ICD-9 will no longer be updated. Also, non-HIPPA entities can benefit from the more descriptive coding system.

The implementation process of the new ICD-10 has received it’s fair share of criticism. One potential flaw that ICD-10 opponents have pointed out is that the dramatically increased number of codes will make using the system too difficult. The CMS fact sheet attempts to debunk this notion. “Just as an increase in the number of words in the dictionary doesn’t make it more difficult to use, the greater number of codes in the ICD-10-CM/PCS doesn’t necessarily make it more difficult to use,” the fact sheet reads. “In fact, the greater amount of codes in the ICD-10-CM/PCS make it easier to find the right code.”

With the October 2014 steadily approaching, the revised ICD-10 Myths & Facts handout shows that the CMS is not backing down from their critics.



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