Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
Physicians to CMS: Eliminate implementation of ICD-10 code set
The AMA and more than 80 other medical associations recently called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to stop implementation of the ICD-10 code set, which is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2014.
In a letter sent to Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the organizations pointed to the significant burden the new code set would place on physicians already working to adopt electronic health records (EHR) as well as new delivery and payment models.
"Stopping the implementation of ICD-10 is a critical, necessary step for removing regulatory burdens on physicians and ensuring that small physician practices are able to keep their doors open," the letter states.
The new code set requires physicians and their office staff to contend with about 68,000 outpatient diagnostic codes, compared with the 13,000 codes currently used under the ICD-9 code set. Transitioning to the new code set would be a costly, time-consuming undertaking for physicians, requiring software upgrades, training and testing with payers. Estimates place the cost for physician practices from $83,000 to $2.7 million, depending on the size of the practice.
The letter also points to the competing priorities with other Medicare programs, including ePrescribing, EHR meaningful use and quality reporting.
Eliminating "the implementation of ICD-10 and calling on appropriate stakeholders to assess an appropriate replacement for ICD-9 will help keep adoption of EHRs and physician participation in delivery and payment reform models on track and reduce costly burdens on physician practices," the letter states.