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Monday, February 20, 2012


TMA advocacy paid off again as U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced physicians will not have to begin using the new ICD-10 coding system next year. ICD-10 codes were to take effect Oct. 1, 2013, but Secretary Sebelius delayed that until an unspecified date. She called the ICD-10 codes “important to many positive improvements in our health care system,” but said HHS had heard from many physicians “who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to reexamine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system.” The official decision came two days after Acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Marilyn Tavenner told the American Medical Association’s National Advocacy Conference that CMS would “reexamine the [ICD-10] timeframe.” TMA delegates convinced the AMA House of Delegates in November to go on record opposing implementation of ICD-10. At our insistence, the house adopted a resolution asking AMA to “immediately petition CMS to stop implementation and development of all new coding and billing standards including ICD-10.” TMA is prepared, whenever CMS ultimately goes ahead with ICD-10. TMA is committed to educational efforts to help physicians and their staff begin using ICD-10 successfully.

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