Press Release

Statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Proposed Rule on ICD-10

Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President

August 15, 2008


America's hospitals strongly support moving forward to ICD-10, a new coding system that will allow for better patient quality through improved health technology and data collection.  We applaud the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) proposal to move forward with the adoption of this important system.

To improve health care services our hospitals require a robust coding classification system.  ICD-10 is an important part of hospital efforts to improve and provide quality care for patients providing greater specificity and detail about disease and illness.

As health care becomes increasingly complex, the current system, ICD-9-CM, is outdated and nearing its capacity to accommodate the addition of new codes.  This significant shortcoming impedes the adoption of new health technology, hinders quality data collection and analysis and creates less accurate reimbursement.  The adoption of ICD-10 is long over due and the replacement to ICD-9-CM has been discussed over the past ten years.

We urge CMS to quickly undertake the regulatory process to replace ICD-9-CM with ICD-10.  The AHA recognizes that the health care field will need a minimum of two years to implement ICD-10.  The issuance of this rulemaking process alerts health care organizations to begin preparations for its eventual adoption.

Hospitals are encouraged by today's rule and are fully supportive of the transition.  We look forward to working closely with CMS on the details of the rule and process for implementation.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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