By staff writers

August 27, 2012 -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has postponed the compliance date by one year -- to October 2014 -- for healthcare organizations to convert to the ICD-10 guidelines for coding and reporting. The original compliance date was October 1, 2013.

The announcement was part of a final rule published on August 23 that adopts a standard for a national unique health plan identifier (HPID) and establishes requirements for its implementation. It also adopts a data element that will serve as an "other entity" identifier (OEID). This identifier is for entities that are not health plans, healthcare providers, or individuals, but that need to be identified in standard transactions.

The final rule also specifies the circumstances in which "an organization-covered healthcare provider must require certain noncovered individual healthcare providers who are prescribers to obtain and disclose a national provider identifier (NPI)."

The rule is one of a series of changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to cut red tape in the health system. It is expected to save up to $6 billion over 10 years, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"We believe the change in the compliance date for ICD-10 gives covered healthcare providers and other covered entities more time to prepare and fully test their systems to ensure a smooth and coordinated transition by all covered entities," she said.

Click here to read the rule in its entirety.

Copyright © 2012

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