On Tuesday, April 1, President Barack Obama signed the "Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014," HR 4302, which creates a one-year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Medicare physician payment formula, to April 2015.
Among many other provisions in the 45-page bill is a delay in the conversion to ICD-10 by one year, to October 2015. Section 212 reads, "The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations."
On March 31, in a 64-35 vote, the U.S. Senate passed the legislation just hours before the previous SGR patch expired. The House passed the bill in a voice vote on March 27th.
“HIMSS continues to focus our efforts on supporting our stakeholders by providing education, resource and tools to help them make the conversion to ICD-10 in the most effective and efficient ways,” said Tom Leary, HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations.
HIMSS offers many resources for those making the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in the ICD-10 Playbook.
In February, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told HIMSS14 attendees that the October 1, 2014 start date for ICD-10 remained firm.