Oppose Efforts to Delay ICD-10 to 2017? Write Congress Today!Recently, physicians requested Congress delay ICD-10 until 2017.

The most recent delay of the code sets has already cost the healthcare industry approximately 6.8 billion dollars.

We cannot afford another delay. Write your legislators today and ask them to support the October 1, 2015 compliance date.

Below is an example letter, as provided by AHIMA.

As your constituent, I am writing to express my support for the October 1, 2015 compliance date to transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS. The code sets have already been delayed twice, providing plenty of time for members of the physician community to transition.

As a result delays, Health Information Management (HIM) professionals, health plans, and health care clearinghouses educators, vendors, providers and payers lost investments that were made to prepare for the transition. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that the 1 year delay cost the healthcare industry up to 6.6 billion dollars. We cannot afford another delay. HIM work to ensure quality health information and patient safety. To ensure better health data and quality of care, I urge you to move forward with the implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS and to oppose any future legislative efforts to delay the code sets.

Additional points of consideration include:

  • According to a recent survey, small physician practices are expected to spend between 1,900 and 6,000 to transition to the new code set. The study can be found on www.coalitionforICD10.org.
  • Physician practices do not use all 13,000 diagnosis codes available in ICD-9. Nor will it be required to use the 68,000 codes that are in ICD-10. The majority of the code increases are due to laterality-which is not currently available in ICD-9.
  • CMS offers a robust plan for physician practices to transition to ICD-10. Click here to view The Road to 10.
  • Without ICD-10, the return on investment in EHRs and health data exchange will be greatly diminished.

A legislative delay of ICD-10 will substantially increase total implementation costs, as HIT expansion requires more systems changes and many previously-completed steps become outdated and need to be repeated. Additional delays in implementing and using the ICD-10-CM codes will also delay the move to pay for healthcare on the basis of quality and outcomes and also complicates the consumer’s ability to choose high quality, low cost healthcare.

Please provide information on how you plan to vote on any future efforts to delay ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation.