November 22nd, 2011

1. CMS has backed off-a bit-from its Jan. 1, 2012 deadline for enforcement of a rule requiring adoption of a more-robust set of claims transmission standards. CMS announced today it will hold off until March 31, 2012, on enforcing its rule requiring hospitals, physician practices, health plans and claims clearinghouses to switch to using the ASC X12 Version 5010 standards for the electronic transmission of healthcare claims and other administrative communications. The Jan. 1 compliance deadline for Version 5010 will not be changed, however, according to the CMS’ statement.

2. CMS has extended the Medicare revalidation deadline for providers and suppliers to 2015. CMS has reevaluated the revalidation requirement in the Affordable Care Act, and believes it affords the flexibility to extend the revalidation period for another two years. This will allow for a smoother process for providers and contractors, said the agency. The Affordable Care Act set up a requirement that all providers and suppliers enrolled in Medicare must revalidate their enrollment information using new enrollment screening criteria. The revalidation effort applies to those who enrolled prior to March 25, 2011. The extension does not affect those who have already received revalidation notices. Those who have received revalidation notices should continue the process. Under the extension, revalidation notices will be sent through March 2015. The American Medical Association is reporting that the extension of the revalidation deadline is a result of pressure put on CMS from physician organizations and that the association had requested a delay in September and had asked CMS to take another look at the ACA requirement.

3. The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted “to work vigorously to stop implementation” of the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision family of diagnostic and procedural codes, citing the healthcare industry’s already full plate for changes and reforms, including the federal push for physicians to adopt electronic health-record systems. “The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients’ care,” AMA President Dr. Peter W. Carmel said in a news release from the association’s four-day policy meeting in New Orleans.