Federal authorities have recently signaled that they would consider delaying some aspects of implementation of the newest version of the International Classification of Diseases, known as ICD-10-CM, a coding system used to define health care charges and diagnoses. Some industry groups have reacted with dismay, and many providers with relief. We are concerned that adopting this new classification system for reimbursement will be disruptive and costly and will offer no material improvement over the current system. Because the health care community is also working to integrate health information technology and federal meaningful-use specifications that require the adoption of other complex coding standardization systems (such as the system called SNOMED CT), we recommend that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services consider delaying the adoption of ICD-10-CM. Policy makers should also begin planning now for ways to make the coming transition to ICD-11 as tolerable as possible for the health care and payment community.
ASJC Scopus subject areas