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 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
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).
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
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
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.