AHA today urged Congress to stop any proposal to further delay the Oct. 1 deadline for implementing the ICD-10 coding system, noting that 93% of hospitals surveyed this year were moderately to very confident they could meet the deadline. “Hospitals are actively preparing their information systems, affiliated physicians and coders to make the transition possible,” AHA said in a statement submitted to the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee for a hearing on ICD-10 implementation. “....Any further delay will only add additional costs as existing investments will be further wasted and future costs will grow.” The deadline has been delayed several times since 2011, including a one-year delay by Congress last year that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates cost health plans, Medicare, Medicaid, hospitals and large providers between $1.2 billion and $6.9 billion. During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA) said, “We need to end the uncertainty and move forward at this time.” All but one of the hearing witnesses also opposed any further delay, including representatives from the American Health Information Management Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Athena Health, 3M Health Information Systems, Yale School of Medicine, and a rural Missouri medical practice. In a blog post today, Chantal Worzala, AHA director of health IT policy, reiterated hospitals’ readiness for the transition.
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