April 10, 2012
WPC practice lead and ICD-10 expert Larry Watkins comments on news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing a one-year delay of the compliance deadline for ICD-10—until October 1, 2014.
If the department could have handled a delay proposal in a favorable manner, they have certainly done so. Keeping the same implementation deadline of ICD-10 for all covered entities is a major key to a successful migration to the new code set, and HHS acknowledged this in its announcement.
More importantly, a one-year delay provides additional time to those who are lagging, but does not delay so long as to sacrifice the investment that many healthcare organizations have already made to prepare for the ICD-10 change. Furthermore, those organizations who thought it was too late to do a comprehensive assessment and effective planning can and should move ahead to put a successful migration strategy in place. However, the time is now, not after the delay becomes official, which would only waste precious time.