On April 1, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 4032 which delayed the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula from going into effect. While ICD-10 was not originally part of the SGR bill, the final law contained language prohibiting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from implementing the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 any earlier than Oct. 1, 2015. At this time, CMS, the agency that oversees the implementation of the HIPAA code set and will determine the re-scheduled implementation date, has not published their decision with regard to the specific date of implementation. Pending additional guidance on the exact implementation date, ACC urges members to continue cultivating their ICD-10 program.

If your practice has not taken actions to implement ICD-10, you now have time to get your office ready for the new implementation date. CMS, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the American Medical Association (AMA) have checklists that can help you prepare your office for the change.

If your practice is ready for implementation, ACC advises you to keep up the impressive strides you have already taken. Don't forget to verify that your vendors are ready or will be on-time getting their systems in order. If you have already trained your staff and coders, have your coders start to review charts to see if your documentation satisfies the requirements of the ICD-10 code set.

You're encouraged to use this delay as a reminder that the switchover is coming soon and use the time to pursue your implementation goals.

Here are some industry leaders with resources to help you along the way: