Many physicians around the country recently received an email from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) warning of the impending ICD-10 implementation deadline of October 1, 2013, with the misleading header seen below.

ICD 10 Transition CMS

However, only a few paragraphs into the email, the reality of CMS’ confusion concerning ICD-10 becomes gravely apparent, as they contradict their own opening statement with Health and Human Services’ (HHS) nebulous start date:

“The final rule adopting ICD-10 as a standard was published in January 2009 and set a compliance date of October 1, 2013 – a delay of two years from the compliance date initially specified in the 2008 proposed rule. HHS will announce a new compliance date moving forward.”

As we stated in our previous blog post, 5010 Update – How the Government and Blues have botched the 5010 claims transition (Where is my check, and how do I make payroll), “Last summer CMS should have postponed 5010 until January 2013.” The 5010 implementation date was far too close to the ICD-10 2013 start date and the 2014 Meaningful Use Stage 2 date. Medical providers are subjected to far too many new government regulations in too short of a time to be able to comply with all of them. The bottleneck created by the government’s own time mandates could have severe repercussions for the industry as a whole. Due to the government’s poor planning and execution, many organizations, including the AMA and MGMA, are calling for severe delays or even an end to ICD-10 implementation. We at HealthFusion® certainly do not believe ICD-10 should be abolished. However, as was previously stated, we do believe delays should have been previously implemented, and call for a congressional investigation into the matter.

ICD-10 is definitely coming; the government, payers, and providers have invested far too much to let it go by the wayside. So prepare for ICD-10, but do not let the government fool you into believing that it is really right around the corner; if past delays are any kind of benchmark, ICD-10 could be facing at least a one year delay.