Is Another ICD-10 Extension Likely?

It’s that time of the year again. The Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) is all set to kick in April 1 unless Congress delays or repeals it. And if that happens, will it derail ICD-10 implementation as well?

That is exactly what happened last year, when in spite of tremendous opposition, the US House of Representatives passed the bill, H.R. 4302 – Protecting Access to Medicare, which covers the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for Medicare payments— enacting a one year delay on a new repeal and ICD-10 implementation.

This year, however, there is no SGR repeal under discussion and it seems another SGR delay will be needed to preserve Medicare reimbursement levels by March 31, 2015. However, that doesn’t mean another ICD-10 delay is in the cards. Last month, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing showed tremendous support for ICD-10 implementation.

The Hill reports, the annual anxiety relating Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that threatens to cut providers’ payments, may be coming to an end –if Congress reaches a consensus.

December 2014 saw the American Medical Association (AMA) calling on Congress for another delay for two years to ICD-10, while the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is urging Congress to stick to the current deadline of October 1, 2015.

Though another delay seems unlikely right now but it’s clearly not improbable.

What are your views on Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR)? Will it affect ICD-10 implementation? Share your comments.

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