Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) agrees with the recently announced decision of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create a year-long transition period during the implementation of ICD-10, the coding system tied to Medicare and Medicaid. This decision largely mirrors Congressman Palmer's own bill, H.R. 2652, The Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act, which would mandate a two-year transition period. Many rural hospitals and smaller practices remain unready to implement ICD-10, and without a grace period, patients could face disruptions in health care services where they live.
"I applaud CMS for recognizing that the implementation of ICD-10 without a transition period threatened to disrupt health care for smaller practices and in rural areas. A more gradual transition to this new system will minimize disruptions in health care services for many patients in Alabama and across America. I am pleased that the medical sector and Congress came together to bring concerns about patient care to the forefront, leading to this transition period."
H.R. 2652, The Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act, introduced by Congressman Palmer, attracted 45 co-sponsors including two Congressional Committee chairmen. Medical industry officials indicated that pressure from Congress lead directly to CMS's decision to create this transition period.
"We appreciate Congressman Palmer's leadership on this issue and know his efforts weighed significantly into CMS's decision to allow an ICD-10 grace period for physicians," Medical Association of Alabama President Buddy Smith, M.D., said, "and we look forward to working with him to further mitigate the negative effects of ICD-10 and the myriad of other unnecessary and burdensome federal mandates levied on medical practices."