cation to a standard shall be completed in a manner which minimizes the disruption and cost of compliance.


"(A) FIRST 12—MONTH PERIOD.—Except with respect to additions and modifications to code sets under subparagraph (B), the Secretary may not adopt any modification to a standard adopted under this part during the 12-month period beginning on the date the standard is initially adopted, unless the Secretary determines that the modification is necessary in order to permit compliance with the standard.


"(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall ensure that procedures exist for the routine maintenance, testing, enhancement, and expansion of code sets.

"(ii) ADDITIONAL RULES.—If a code set is modified under this subsection, the modified code set shall include instructions on how data elements of health information that were encoded prior to the modification may be converted or translated so as to preserve the informational value of the data elements that existed before the modification. Any modification to a code set under this subsection shall be implemented in a manner that minimizes the disruption and cost of complying with such modification.



"(1) IN GENERAL.—If a person desires to conduct a transaction referred to in section 1173(a)(1) with a health plan as a standard transaction—

"(A) the health plan may not refuse to conduct such transaction as a standard transaction;

"(B) the insurance plan may not delay such transaction, or otherwise adversely affect, or attempt to adversely affect, the person or the transaction on the ground that the transaction is a standard transaction; and

"(C) the information transmitted and received in connection with the transaction shall be in the form of standard data elements of health information.

"(2) SATISFACTION OF REQUIREMENTS.—A health plan may satisfy the requirements under paragraph (1) by—

"(A) directly transmitting and receiving standard data elements of health information; or

"(B) submitting nonstandard data elements to a health care clearinghouse for processing into standard data elements and transmission by the health care clearinghouse, and receiving standard data elements through the health care clearinghouse.

"(3) TIMETABLE FOR COMPLIANCE.—Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to require a health plan to comply with any standard, implementation specification, or modification to a standard or specification adopted or established by the Secretary under sections 1172 through 1174 at any time prior to the date on which the plan is required to comply with the standard or specification under subsection (b).



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