Practice Economics

HHS Delays ICD-10 Compliance Date


According to a CMS statement regarding part of President Obama’s “commitment to reducing regulatory burden,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius announced that HHS will initiate a process to “postpone the date” by which certain healthcare entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).1

The final rule adopting ICD-10 as a standard was published in January 2009; it set a compliance date of Oct. 1, 2013 (a two-year delay from the 2008 proposed rule). HHS will announce a new compliance date moving forward.

“ICD-10 codes are important to many positive improvements in our healthcare system,” Sebelius said in the statement. “We have heard from many in the provider community who have concerns about the administrative burdens they face in the years ahead. We are committing to work with the provider community to re-examine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our healthcare system.”

ICD-10 codes provide more robust and specific data that will help improve patient care and enable the exchange of our healthcare data with that of the rest of the world, much of which has long been using ICD-10. Entities covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will be required to use the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.

All that said, do not postpone any activities toward ICD-10 implementation until further clarification comes from CMS.

—Carol Pohlig


  1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Press Releases: HHS Announces Intent to Delay ICD-10 Compliance Date. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website. Available at: Accessed March 1, 2012.

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