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    HHS Bends to Pressure
    ICD-10 Implementation Deadline Extended to 2013

    By AAFP News Staff - Posted on 01 January 2010

    With the stroke of a pen, HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt gave the U.S. health care industry two additional years to comply with a rule that many experts said would be far more difficult to implement than the government had acknowledged. In a Jan. 15 news release, HHS announced that it would extend the implementation deadline for the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification, or ICD-10-CM, for outpatient diagnosis coding, to Oct. 1, 2013.

    The new deadline gives physicians, health insurers, software vendors and other stakeholders two additional years to prepare for a change that will increase the number of outpatient diagnosis codes from 13,500 to 68,000.

    In the HHS press release, CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems, said the agency received more than 3,000 comments on the proposed rule, including a good number of requests for a delay in the initially proposed deadline of 2011.

    The AAFP voiced strong opposition to the adoption of ICD-10 and AAFP Board Chair Jim King, M.D., of Selmer, Tenn., argued last fall that CMS should delay transition to the new code set indefinitely.

    In an October letter to CMS, (6-page PDF; About PDFs) King asked the agency to consider whether the pressures to adopt the ICD-10 outpatient code set "outweigh the importance of supporting the already fragile backbone of patient care," namely primary care medicine.

    The final rule on the ICD-10-CM and the related International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System for inpatient hospital procedure coding was published in the Jan. 16 Federal Register


    2010 CPT Code Changes


    Evaluation & Management Services Guide (CMS-July 2009)
    1997 E/M Documentation Guidelines
    1995 E/M Documentation Guidelines
    E/M Pocket Guide (Trailblazer Health: 2008)

    History Documentation

    Documenting a History (Tulane University Medical Group)
    Highmark Medicare Services HPI Elements (Reviewed 05/13/08)


    Highmark Medicare Services FAQ (Reviewed 2/13/2008)
    Wisconsin Medical Society FAQ (2008)
    Medicare Physician Guide (CMS-July 2007)
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