NEW two-year grace period with ICD-10 Bill - H.R. 2652

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL6) introduced legislation in the U.S. House Thursday June 4th, that would ensure physicians who serve Medicaid and Medicare patients continue to be reimbursed while they are switching over to a new federally-mandated medical coding system.

This Act may be cited as the "Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act of 2015".

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide for a 2 year grace period which physicians and other health care providers submitting claims and other documents using ICD-10 are not penalized for errors, mistakes, and malfunctions relating to the transition to such code set.

Current law could deny payment to physicians because of simple coding mistakes, the type of mistakes common when learning a new system.

"This is especially true concerning physicians with small practices and rural hospitals," Palmer said, "which, unlike larger and more established institutions, are less likely to have sufficient resources to fully prepare for the implementation of ICD-10. This threatens to disrupt health care for many Americans."

The bill already has 32 cosponsors, including Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions and fellow Alabama Representatives Aderholt (R-AL4), Brooks (R-AL5), Byrne (R-AL1), and Rogers (R-AL3).

"Physicians are in medicine to provide patient care," Palmer concluded in a press release announcing the legislation, "not to focus on implementing a complicated and burdensome federally mandated coding system. Everyone who is concerned about small-town and rural health care should support this common sense bill."