AMA Votes To Work ‘Vigorously’ To Stop ICD-10 Implementation

On Tuesday, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates said it would attempt to block the transition to ICD-10 code sets, The Hill‘s “Healthwatch” reports (Baker, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 11/15).

The delegates voted to “work vigorously” to stop ICD-10 implementation, saying the health care industry already is overburdened by federal requirements under the health reform law and the meaningful use program.

The vote took place at the association’s recent policy meeting in New Orleans (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/15). Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

About ICD-10

U.S. health care organizations are working to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets to accommodate codes for new diseases and procedures. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets means that health care providers and insurers will have to change out about 14,000 codes for about 69,000 codes (“Healthwatch,” The Hill, 11/15).

Health care providers and insurers have until Oct. 1, 2013, to adopt new ICD-10 code sets (iHealthBeat, 11/4).

Details of AMA’s Stance

Peter Carmel — president of AMA — said, “The implementation of ICD-10 will create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patients’ care.” He added that switching to ICD-10 code sets “will add administrative expense and create unnecessary workflow disruptions” (Modern Healthcare, 11/15).

According to AMA, a 2008 study conducted by Nachimson Advisors found that a three-physician practice would need to spend $83,290 to switch to ICD-10 code sets, and a 10-physician practice would need to spend $285,195 (AMA release, 11/15).

Carmel also said that the “timing could not be worse” for the switch to ICD-10 code sets because physicians already are working to adopt EHR systems to meet meaningful use requirements. He said AMA will “continue working to help physicians keep their focus where it should be — on their patients” (American Medical News, 11/15).

AMA Votes To Work ‘Vigorously’ To Stop ICD-10 Implementatio

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