The staff at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) likely don’t have easy days at the office. With notices of proposed rulemaking being drafted with great speed relative to traditionally thought-of government timelines, the onslaught of opinions from the public to reconcile should come as no surprise. Last week, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) offered slightly differing opinions on the ICD-10 implementation process.
While MGMA continues to offer its support for extending the compliance date for ICD-10, the association believes CMS has not taken the appropriate steps prior to mandating the code set. In addition, MGMA examined the costs to physician practices to adopt ICD-10 staggering, estimating a 10-physician practice will incur more than $285,000 in expenses.
Susan Turney, MD, president and CEO of MGMA, recommended CMS take the following actions before mandating ICD-10:
- Conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis;
- Pilot test ICD-10; and
- Fully evaluate alternative approaches.
If CMS moves forward with the mandate afterwards, Turney recommended staggering implementation dates, “requiring health plans and clearinghouses to be ready at least one year in advance of provider.”
WEDI, on the contrary, has a different idea. “Although we recognize that some would prefer a staggered implementation, maintaining a single compliance cutover appears to be the only viable solution for the reasons set forth in the original rule and based on recommendations from a WEDI Policy Advisory Group held in September 2008,” Donald Bechtel, chair of WEDI, wrote in its letter to CMS.
WEDI plans to conduct additional periodic surveys during 2012 and beyond to gauge progress.
Currently, it’s CMS’ move.