The old crystal ball

The FEHBlog’s old crystal ball failed him twice today.

First, he expected that OPM would implement the self plus one option for the FEHBP which Congress OKed in December for 2015 because after all it was OPM’s idea. Wrong. The Washington Post reports this morning that OPM will postpone implementation of the self plus one option to 2016.

Second, he expected that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would give health care providers some leeway on the October 1, 2014, compliance date for the ICD-10 code set, particularly given the AMA’s Twitter campaign.  Wrong again. Information Week reports from the HIMSS Conference that

The ICD-10 deadline will not change, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [Marilyn Tavenner] told HIMSS14 attendees at a keynote on Thursday.

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“There are no more delays and the system will go live on Oct 1. Let’s face it guys, we’ve already delayed it several times and it’s time to move on. It’s a standard in the rest of the world,” said Tavenner.
CMS won’t offer a 90-day window where it operates both ICD-9 and ICD-10, something several health IT professionals requested. Their fear: Hospitals won’t receive Medicare or Medicaid payments on time.
“The onus is going to fall on healthcare facilities, not the government. A three-month window is not unreasonable, given the amount of data involved,” said one clinical engineer manager from a Texas hospital who asked not to be named. “Anything would be better than, ‘Hey, we’re going live on Oct. 1.'” 

The federal government evidently plans to give us another train wreck on the first anniversary of the failed launch.

Accordingly the FEHBlog is on the market for a new crystal ball.