The Medical Group Management Association, American Medical Association and American Health Information Management Association have issued statements on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ decision to postpone the ICD-10 implementation date by one year to Oct. 1, 2014.

The new ICD-10 deadline is part of a proposed rule available now and being published on April 17 that also would establish a health plan identifier and an “other entity” identifier for entities not covered under HIPAA but needing to be identified in standard electronic transactions, and would require certain providers who are prescribers to obtain a National Provider Identifier.

Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor for government affairs at MGMA, says the organization is pleased that CMS is looking at a one-year extension of ICD-10. However, MGMA remains concerned that the implementation process itself is flawed and calls for pilot testing, staggered implementation dates, and certification of vendors, clearinghouses and health plans as complying with the code sets. The industry could see considerable disruption in 2014 absent certification, he adds. MGMA supports the health plan identifier saying it is long-delayed. It expects to recommend to CMS that the plan identifier be embedded on beneficiary identification cards as a step toward accelerating use of machine readable cards.

The AMA says postponement of ICD-10 “is the first of many steps that regulators need to take to reduce the number of costly, time-consuming regulatory burdens that physicians are shouldering.”

AHIMA notes its preference is for no delay in ICD-10, but is gratified that HHS kept the extension to the shortest possible time of one year. The association also calls for organizations to remain focused on ICD-10 implementation work.

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