On Thursday, March 27th, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote HR 4302, a new bill that would create a one-year patch for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, further delaying action on replacing the current formula until April 2015.
The bill would also delay the conversion to ICD-10 by one year to October 2015:
SEC. 212. DELAY IN TRANSITION FROM ICD–9 TO ICD–10 CODE SETS.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 14 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.
The bill now awaits action in the Senate, which has announced plans to vote at 5:30 pm on Monday, March 31st, with 60 votes needed for passage. The current short term SGR “doc fix” expires at midnight Monday.
In February, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the October 1, 2014 start date for ICD-10 remained firm.