After years of planning and complaining, healthcare organizations are beyond knee-deep in preparing for the ICD-10 coding classification transition due by October 1, 2014. Ironically, there is now legislation introduced in the U.S. House that would prohibit the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) from mandating that physicians use ICD-10 diagnosis codes.

Amednews brought this important information to our attention in their article, “House bill would stop ICD-10 mandate.” The bill, the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2013, would stop the required transition to new diagnosis code sets by physicians who are billing for medical services, verifying patient eligibility, obtaining pre-authorizations, documenting patient visits, and conducting both public health reporting and quality reporting.

The mandated switch will increase the number of codes by a factor of five, resulting in over 68,000 codes. After much pressure from healthcare organizations and their various association representatives, HHS announced in 2012 that its implementation deadline had been delayed by one year to 2014.

We will keep an eye on this particular legislation as it goes through the paces. Organizations are working hard to be prepared and, though the impact on their practice could be comprehensive, if this particular legislation were to go through, it seems it would confuse things even more at this point.

Access Integrity understands those challenges and offers a web-based solution for medical transaction processing which seamlessly searches, analyzes, and verifies EHRs, procedure notes and submission forms simultaneously and validates claims as part of the transaction workflow prior to submission. This product is for medical providers who want to make sure their medical claims are always correct and compliant, which is key for financial sustainability.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.