The federal government’s decision to let four state Medicaid agencies temporarily translate ICD-10 codes into ICD-9 codes because they haven’t completed remediation work and cannot perform payment calculations using ICD-10 codes might not be so temporary. Whether the policy expands to other states isn’t yet clear.

The states permitted to do a workaround, as first reported in Modern Healthcare, are California, Louisiana, Maryland and Montana. Most state Medicaid agencies fully outsource Medicaid operations to contactors and are ready for ICD-10, says Pat Kennedy, president of PJ Consulting in Rockville, Md., which specializes in electronic data interchange and insurers. But others don’t outsource all functions with these four states among them, and they found some in-house problems, he adds.

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