Friday, April 11, 2014

ICD-10 is part of the ACA and will be delayed again

Slipping past with all the other hoopla about ACA, the president has moved another date, originally planned for June of this year, to well beyond the elections of 2014. "On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law legislation that states that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot adopt the ICD-10 code set as the standard until at least Oct. 1, 2015. This is the second consecutive one-year delay for the ICD-10 implementation and is expected to be the last such delay."

Notice the "at least."  It could be later and it's already been delayed once. How's that for planning?

Luckily, there are now codes for injuries that occur while skiing on waterskis that are on fire as well as codes for orca bites. As you may imagine, these codes will certainly streamline my ability to treat my patients with these very common ailments.

So why is it that our government and its agencies think that there administrators are well qualified to develop codes for medical diagnoses? How is it that bizarre codes for humorous and extremely unlikely scenarios are being included and programmed into the system?

If you ask CMS administrators, they will tell you that these new codes were adopted by the US government after careful consultation with coding experts, CMS administrators and physician advisers. However, I am not exactly sure which physicians were involved in signing off on codes for “balloon accidents,” “spacecraft crash injuries,” and “injuries associated with a prolonged stay in a weightless environment.”

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