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AMA, State Physician Groups Call for End to ICD-10 Implementation

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

By James Swann  

The American Medical Association, along with 42 state medical organizations and 40 medical speciality groups, urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to cancel implementation of the ICD-10 code set, according to a letter sent in late December.

“The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care, and will compete with other costly transitions associated with quality and health IT reporting programs,” the letter said.


 

“The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care, and will compete with other costly transitions associated with quality and health IT reporting programs,” the letter said.  

 


The letter reiterates AMA's earlier opposition to ICD-10 implementation. In November, AMA's House of Delegates adopted a policy calling for an end to ICD-10 implementation.

ICD-10, or the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, is a code set updating health care diagnoses and procedures from 13,000 codes in ICD-9 to 68,000 codes.

CMS released a final rule on Aug. 24, 2012, delaying the compliance date for ICD-10 from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014 (see previous article).

High Costs and Liabilities.

According to the recent AMA letter, physicians will have to spend anywhere from $83,000 to $2.7 million to implement ICD-10, depending on the practice size.

In addition, a focus on ICD-10 implementation will take away resources from other health information initiatives, such as launching electronic health records and participating in payment and delivery reform programs, the letter said.

Physicians could also find themselves liable for financial penalties “if they do not successfully participate in multiple Medicare programs already underway, including e-prescribing, EHR meaningful use, and the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and value-based modifier programs,” the letter said.

The letter said CMS should work with industry stakeholders to create a replacement for the current ICD-9 code set that is less costly to physicians and allows for full participation in other health information initiatives.


The AMA letter is at http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/icd10-sign-on-letter-20dec2012.pdf.

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