Updated on: March 17, 2016

Transition to ICD-10 ‘Urgent,’ Congressional Leaders Warned

Original story posted on: May 19, 2013

A coalition of healthcare associations and vendors is warning congressional leaders that delaying the adoption of ICD-10 further would make it more difficult for the U.S. to track “new and emerging public health threats.”

In letters dated May 17 and sent to leaders in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, coalition members said that “the transition to ICD-10 is time-sensitive” and noted that relying on ICD-9 is not an option.


“The transition to ICD-10 is time-sensitive because of the urgent need to keep up with tracking, identifying and analyzing new medical services and treatments available to patients,” the letters read.

The news comes in the wake of U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introducing a bill (HR 1701) to ban the U.S. from adopting ICD-10. Poe’s bill, which was introduced on April 24, has picked up support from eight co-sponsors. Earlier, on April 10, Poe took to the House floor criticizing ICD-10.

"It's red tape, it's bureaucracy,” Poe reportedly said. “And this is what happens when clueless big government here in Washington starts telling people out in the workplace, doctors and patients, what they must do – and when government intrudes into our lives with more regulations."

The coalition letter goes on to indicate that ICD-10 will enable payers, both private and public, to keep up with changes taking place in healthcare. The letter reads that ICD-10 is the “next generation” of coding systems.

Yet Poe, in a television appearance on Fox News’s John Stossel’s broadcast that was posted to YouTube on April 26, said that “none of these codes help make a patient better or healthier.”

It was a point countered by the letter to Congress.

“By allowing for greater coding accuracy and specificity, ICD-10 is key to collecting the information needed to implement healthcare delivery innovations such as patient-centered medical homes and value-based purchasing,” the letter reads. “Data is critical to supporting these new payment and delivery models, which depend on accurate data to help providers improve the effectiveness of treatments. ICD-10 will enable better patient care through better understanding of the value of new procedures, improved disease management, and an improved ability to study and understand patient outcomes.”

Sources told ICD10monitor that healthcare coalition members are not as concerned with Poe’s legislation gaining traction since the bill’s co-sponsors have no jurisdiction over the bill. Members are more concerned that Poe’s bill could be tucked into other legislation such as the SRG fix.



House Coalition Letter 05/17/13

Senate Coalition Letter 05/17/13

H.R. 1701


Kayla Zerbes contributed to this article

Chuck Buck

Chuck Buck is the publisher of ICD10monitor and is the executive producer and program host of Talk Ten Tuesdays.