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Delay In Icd-10 – What Will Be The Impact?

May 29th 2014 at 12:02 AM

It is a well-known fact that the introduction of new healthcare reforms has become a routine these days in the US healthcare market. If one deeply analyzes the past decade’s statistical report of US medical reforms, it would be clear that ‘postponement of healthcare changes’ has also been a common activity. In addition to the SGR rate cut that is being postponed every year since 2003, there is yet another healthcare project that has been witnessing a delay in implementation ever since its proposal in 2009. It is the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 medical coding system. A delay in the implementation of SGR payment cut has been a great relief for Providers and medical coding companies, but it is not the case with ICD-10 medical coding. The impact only worsens as the timeline gets postponed every time. Let us discuss the impacts:

An Overview: In the year 2009,The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed that the US healthcare space will transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS from the outdated ICD-9 coding strategy. The implementation was expected to take effect on October 1, 2011, initially but was postponed by 2 years. After setting October 1, 2013 as the deadline, the CMS again delayed it by one year (2014) to analyze the pace of ICD-10 medical coding implementation. Currently, the deadline has been again changed to October 1, 2015 by a recent legislation.

US Healthcare’s Slow Pace: One cannot deny the fact that US healthcare follows a slow pace in implementing the ICD-10 medical coding system. When we compare the US healthcare sector with healthcare sectors of other countries, it would be comprehensible that the US is staying far behind in implementing ICD-10. Like the US, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Canada are also categorized as the ‘First World’ countries because of the economic and social development. However, the US is still struggling to implement the ICD-10 medical coding system, while the other countries adopted it well in advance. Australia for instance, implemented ICD-10 medical coding with its own modification as of 1999 – a good 15 years ago!!!

Impact: Providers who delayed to implement ICD-10 medical coding sets in their practice may rejoice this delay. However, stakeholders and Providers who have already spent a considerable amount of time and resources in training staff, upgrading technology, and implementing documentation changes will face a tough time. Besides impacting the financial factors, the ICD-10 delay has wasted a significant amount of medical coding specialists’ time and effort, which would have otherwise been used productively for medical billing services.

Prepare: Providers must be well prepared to face any kind of changes or delays that happen to healthcare reforms like the ICD-10 transition. In order to keep the administrative part unaffected, they can get help from outsourced medical billing companies. One of the most reliable medical coding companies in the US is undoubtedly MGSI.

About MGSI:

MGSI, a Florida-based, national medical coding company has been providing exceptional medical billing and coding services to its clients for more than 20 years. It will handle all the medical billing and coding needs, while Providers prepare themselves to face erratic delays in health reforms like ICD-10 medical coding transition. To learn more details, log on to

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