With the October 1 ICD-10 deadline rapidly approaching, another member of Congress has introduced legislation that would establish a “grace period” following the compliance date during which providers could not be denied Medicare/Medicaid payments because of coding errors.

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) has sponsored the “Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act” (H.R. 2652) which calls for a two-year grace period so that providers can “focus on patient care instead of coding and receiving compensation for their care while ICD-10 is being fully implemented.” With ICD-10’s five-fold increase in codes compared to ICD-9, Palmer warned that the code switchover creates significant administrative challenges for rural and small town providers in particular, who lack the resources to fully prepare for the ICD-10 implementation.

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