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AMA Seeks to Stop ICD-10, Cites Soaring Costs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 13, 2014

Nachimson Advisors said that two-thirds of practices will likely fall into the high range of new cost estimates because they are expected to incur major costs for software upgrades to accommodate ICD-10. The study blamed the ballooning 2014 estimates in part on post-implementation costs, including testing and the potential risk of payment disruption. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has estimated that claims denial rates could increase 100% –200% in the early stages of coding with ICD-10.

In her letter to Sebelius, Hoven reminded the secretary that while the AMA is working however grudgingly toward the implementation, the association's House of Delegates has called for "repealing ICD-10 for the simple reason that it is not expected to improve the care physicians provide their patients and, in fact, could disrupt efforts to transition to new delivery models."

"The transition to ICD-10 represents one of the largest technical, operational, and business implementation in the healthcare industry in the past several decades. Implementing ICD-10 requires physicians and their office staff to contend with 68,000 diagnosis codes—a five-fold increase from the approximately 13,000 diagnosis codes in use today. The broad use of ICD-10 codes for determining reimbursement, coding in all healthcare settings, and healthcare coverage has not been done in other countries, making the U.S. implementation unprecedented," Hoven wrote.

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9 comments on "AMA Seeks to Stop ICD-10, Cites Soaring Costs"


terry dodson (3/27/2014 at 5:12 PM)
I have worked for physicians for years. most of the older ones are considering retiring. people who are only coders may have 1 opinion but those of us who wear multiple hats are very unhappy. despite the rah,rah cheerleaders , this is still going to be expensive,stressful and chaotic. I don't think people have any idea how horrible this will turn out. thank you

Jan (3/26/2014 at 6:54 PM)
As a coder, I am so beyond ready to move forward with ICD-10. We have done the training and understand the reasoning behind the changes that are made in the ICD-10 code sets. One more year delay will do nothing to improve this in any way. We are ready. Let's get this done! NO DELAY! PLEASE! We've waited long enough. Other nations are already working on ICD-11. We are already behind. Don't delay this any further. There is nothing to be gained from this delay!

Frank T. (3/7/2014 at 11:01 PM)
As a Physician for my small solo practice, I code by myself. Patients are very happy for small wait time. I have memorized most of my Dx codes. Now with this ICD-10 , I can't. I am not seeing any "better care" but waste of time and money. A knee injury if you explain it better, still you can't "perfectly" explain it and you actually can spend the whole day, week, months, years to talk about it( just look at scientific research papers). Even draw Quantum Tensors in Space-Time and explain at what electron orbit the injury has taken place. Even if that it is not enough, we could explain it further by Einstein's formula and Plank's quantum variable or even expand it further to subatomic God particle to avoid "fraud and abuse and waste". In reality with increase number of patients and demand of access this is nothing but a waste of time by itself. Even ICD-9 was too much and for a solo outpatient practice must be weaned down to only 3 to 4 codes to be practical and friendly. Sorry for non physicians for not understanding it because they don't treat patients but papers. Their intelligence is not enough to understand it or jealousy and hatred of lack of success in their lives has hindered their miserable lives so bad that they have to make life miserable for others who care daily for sick people.