Date: May 7, 2012
The medical community has long anticipated a transition to the use of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10). Regulations adopted in 2009 had established October 1, 2013, as the date by which all medical providers and institutions covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must implement ICD-10. Recently, however, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a delay to the implementation of ICD-10. See https://www.cms.gov/ICD10/Downloads/HHSPressReleaseICD10final321612.pdf to read the press release. A new transition date has not yet been announced.
While workers' compensation systems are generally excluded from HIPAA requirements, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board (Board) anticipates that providers in its system will be transitioning to the new codes for other medical payers. Therefore, to promote consistency between medical systems and to avoid imposing significant costs to support two diagnostic coding systems, the Board expects to require use of ICD-10 on a timetable consistent with Medicare and Medicaid.
The Board has begun discussions about the ICD-10 transition with various system stakeholders, including business, organized labor, hospitals, medical providers, insurance carriers, and self-insured employers. It appears that all stakeholders are already aware of the transition to ICD-10 and are beginning to prepare for such transition. The Board encourages its stakeholders to be actively preparing for this transition, even though the date of implementation remains unknown. The WCB stands willing to provide whatever support stakeholders may need and to answer questions about the transition to ICD-10.
Basic information about ICD-10 is available in many places. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a wealth of information on its website which can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/ICD10/. If you have questions about ICD-10 and its impact on New York's workers' compensation system, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we receive additional information about the new timetable for ICD-10, we will advise of the transition implementation timeframe.
Robert E. Beloten