State Medicaid directors ask for delay of new coding system

Share this content:
Medicaid directors nationwide have called for a delay in the implementation of a new coding system for health claims from 2011 to 2013.

The rule, which was published in the Federal Register on August 22, will update the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) with a more detailed Tenth Revision, changing the codes used to specify diagnoses and procedures. But in a letter issued last week to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Association of State Medicaid Directors said there is not enough time allotted for states and agencies to fully adapt to the change. They have called for implementation on October 1, 2013. It is currently scheduled to take effect in October 2011.

The association also said original projections of $102 million to implement the changes underestimates the amount of time it will take to recode the system and retrain staff and providers. Additionally, at issue is the required implementation of Version 5010 of the Accredited Standards Committee X12 Group, which states say could increase costs by forcing them to compete over a limited contractor pool. Delaying the ICD-10 will allow states to adjust for Version 5010 as well, the association said.