From The Editor | December 30, 2010

With New Year, HIT Deadlines Loom Closer


By Ken Congdon, editor in chief, Health IT Outcomes

While most of us kick off the new year with a few drinks, a midnight kiss, and some idealistic resolutions, several hospital CIOs may be ringing in the new year by popping a few antacids to combat the stress associated with meeting the numerous HIT deadlines that just inched closer. Three time-sensitive HIT initiatives come to mind: 1) EHR adoption and meaningful use, 2) ICD-10 compliance, and 3) HIPAA 5010 compliance.

EHR Adoption & Meaningful Use
2011 marks the beginning of the EHR incentive program outlined in ARRA (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). Several key deadlines for participating in this program and receiving incentive payments occur this year. Hopefully, your facility has already addressed some of these deadlines as they have either already passed or are nearly upon us. Below is a list of a few key EHR incentive deadlines to mark on your 2011 calendar:

Jan. 3, 2011 — Registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
April 2011 — Attestation for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
May 2011 — Issuing of Medicare EHR incentive payments expected to begin.
July 3, 2011 — Last day for eligible hospitals to begin their 90-day reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR incentive program for federal fiscal year 2011.
Sept. 30, 2011 — Federal fiscal year 2011 payment year ends at midnight for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs).
Oct. 3, 2011 — Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2011 to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR incentive program.
Nov. 30, 2011 — Last day for eligible hospitals and CAHs to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for federal fiscal year 2011.
Dec. 31, 2011 — Calendar 2011 payment year ends for eligible professionals.

Key criteria for Stage 1 EHR meaningful use include CPOE use for 80% of all orders, electronic transmission of 75% of prescriptions, and at least 50% of lab tests ordered are incorporated in certified EHR technology. A table outlining the complete list of Stage 1 criteria for EHR meaningful use can be viewed here.

ICD-10 Implementation & Compliance
Originally given a 2011 deadline, the ICD-10 implementation and compliance deadline was extended to Oct. 1, 2013 in January 2009. The extension was granted because the transition to the ICD-10 diagnosis code set proved much more difficult for the healthcare community than the government originally acknowledged. ICD-10 compliance requires hospitals, physicians, health insurers, and other stakeholders to transition their systems to recognize and accept the new ICD-10 diagnosis code set, which actually increases the number of outpatient diagnosis codes from 13,500 to 68,000. More detailed information on ICD-10 implementation and compliance can be viewed by accessing the following articles and podcasts on Health IT Outcomes:

ICD-10: Ready Or Not?
ICD-10: A Tale Of Two Coding Systems
Preparing For ICD-10: Evaluating Approaches And Potential Pitfalls

HIPAA 5010 Compliance
On January 12, 2012, the healthcare industry will be required to conduct the current HIPAA electronic transactions using the upgraded version 5010. 5010 is the latest version of proposed HIPAA's transaction standards from the ASC X12 standards development organization. The ASC X12 version 5010 transactions focus on the electronic exchange of administrative and financial information between healthcare providers and health plans for patient care services, including eligibility inquiries, treatment authorization and referrals, claims status requests, and claims and remittance advice. The updated HIPAA transactions also play a critical role with the future of ICD-10. HIPAA's transaction updates impact all healthcare stakeholders — from hospitals, pharmacies, physician offices, payors, billing software vendors and clearinghouses to consumers with this sector taking on more significant responsibility for service payment.

A complete HIPAA 5010 timeline published by the AMA (American Medical Association) can be viewed here.

You can also gain more insight on the topic by reviewing some articles and podcasts Health IT Outcomes has published on HIPAA 5010:

Version 5010: The Countdown Continues
HIPAA 5010: A Second Chance To Reduce Costs And Increase Efficiency
HIT Over The Next 5 Years

Ken Congdon is Editor In Chief of Health IT Outcomes. He can be reached at