The one-year extension of the ICD-10 implementation deadline signed into law April 1 by President Obama is viewed as a "positive credit development" for not-for-profit hospitals, according to New York-based financial information services company Fitch Ratings.

While the majority of hospital providers that Fitch rates would have been prepared for the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 transition, the potential disruption to the revenue cycle would have had a negative credit impact on the sector--particularly on lower rated credits--said the ratings firm. The delayed deadline will allow more time for providers and payers to prepare for the code switchover, the company said.

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