House Introduces Yet Another ICD-10 Bill

ICD-10 RedH.R. 2652, Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act of 2015, was introduced by Representative Gary Palmer (R-AL-6) on June 4. This bill represents the third piece of legislation to be introduced into the house since early May. On May 12, H.R. 2247, the Increasing Clarity for Doctors by Transitioning Effectively Now Act (ICD-TEN Act) was introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6) calling for a transition period. On April 30, H.R. 2126, the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, was introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX-2) seeking a halt to ICD-10. The bills have not made much progress since they were introduced and industry insiders expect the bills to fizzle out. This newest bill seeks to provide a grace period of two years for providers set to transition this October. During the grace period, physicians and other providers would not be "penalized for errors, mistakes and malfunctions relating to the transition.” Palmer, in a statement, says the grace period would allow physicians to work out the "kinks" in the transition. During the two-year grace period physicians would not be penalized and their payments would not be withheld by CMS due to “coding errors, mistakes, and/or malfunctions of the system,” according to the bill. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would also be required to conduct a study on how the transition to ICD-10 has affected physicians and other healthcare providers, and state how well HHS has helped physicians transition to the new code set. As of today, H.R. 2652 has 43 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Ways and Means.

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