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HHS Finalizes ICD-10 Deadline Delay

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2012

Physicians, however, are generally not happy.

Susan Turney, MD, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Medical Practice Executives, cites concerns about the lack of due diligence in ensuring that the implementation of ICD-10 "will not create debilitating cash flow disruptions for physician practices."

She also notes a lack of confidence that critical trading partners, including Medicare and state Medicaid plans, will be ready in time to conduct testing well in advance of the October 2014 compliance date. "We urge CMS to significantly escalate its implementation efforts by pilot testing ICD-10, ensuring health plan, clearinghouse and vendor readiness, and developing comprehensive educational resources," she said.

The AMA statement expressed similar concerns. "The AMA recommended that CMS delay the move to ICD-10 by a minimum of two years," said Steven J. Stack, MD, board chair. "The move toward ICD-10 comes at a time when physicians are dealing with the implementation of multiple Medicare incentive and penalty programs. Implementing ICD-10 alone requires physicians and their office staff to contend with 68,000 codes—a five-fold increase from the current 13,000 codes. Physicians are also already trying to engage in new delivery and payment models. The implementation of ICD-10 will create more challenges for physicians when our Medicare system is broken and cannot provide adequate funding to cover the cost of these additional administrative burdens."

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