CMS Extends Partial Code Freeze for ICD-9-CM, ICD-10

Information regarding the ICD-10 delay continues to trickle out of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS has announced that the partial code freeze for ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 will continue through October 1, 2015--the new planned implementation date. 

"The ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee (formerly the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee) implemented a partial freeze of the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 (ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS) codes prior to the implementation of ICD-10 which would end one year after the implementation of ICD-10," states CMS. "There was considerable support for this partial freeze."

According to CMS, the partial freeze will be implemented as follows:

* The last regular, annual updates to both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code sets were made on October 1, 2011.

* On October 1, 2012, October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2014 there will be only limited code updates to both the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code sets to capture new technologies and diseases as required under law.

* On October 1, 2015, there will be only limited code updates to ICD-10 code sets to capture new technologies and diagnoses as required under law. There will be no updates to ICD-9-CM, as it will no longer be used for reporting.

* On October 1, 2016 (one year after implementation of ICD-10), regular updates to ICD-10 will begin.

"The ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee will continue to meet twice a year during the partial freeze," states CMS. "At these meetings, the public will be asked to comment on whether or not requests for new diagnosis or procedure codes should be created based on the criteria of the need to capture a new technology or disease. Any code requests that do not meet the criteria will be evaluated for implementation within ICD-10 on and after October 1, 2016 once the partial freeze has ended."

Earlier this month, CMS posted a message on its website announcing that the Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date requiring the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The posting also indicated that the rule will require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.

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