CMS announces 5010 enforcement grace period

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a 90-day grace period for enforcement action related to the January 1 Version 5010 HIPAA compliance deadline.

The grace period was granted on Nov. 17, by CMS because of feedback it has received that suggests the industry has fallen behind on 5010 preparations.  In a statement CMS said that “the number of submitters, the volume of transactions, and other testing data used as indicators of the industry’s readiness to comply with the new standards have been low across some industry sectors.”  Additionally, CMS reports that many covered entities are still awaiting software upgrades.

While the grace period may be welcome news for healthcare organizations that are behind on their 5010 preparations, the technology consultants at Catch Data Systems highly recommend that they continue working toward compliance if they haven’t reached it yet.

“The grace period isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Jeff Lemos, Catch Data Systems’ senior sales engineer.  “The key is that CMS will not initiate enforcement action, but it will accept complaints made against healthcare organizations that are not compliant between January 1 and the end of the 90-day period.  If a complaint is made against them, organizations will have to prove that they made a good-faith effort to meet the deadline.”

For more information about the 90-day waiting period, view the CMS press release announcing it.  For general information about 5010 HIPAA, including FAQs, upgrade tips and useful downloads, visit Catch Data Systems’ 5010 Resource Center.

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