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ICD-10 Proponents Cry Foul

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 1, 2012

Despite those physician views, many members of the AMA—as well as the many physicians who are not members—privately tell her they don't want the switch date postponed, she says. The AMA represents a relatively small number of physicians in the U.S.

In a statement last week applauding a delay, AMA President Peter Carmel, MD, said "the timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse for physicians as they are spending significant financial and administrative resources implementing electronic health records in their practices, and trying to comply with multiple quality and health information technology programs that include penalties for noncompliance."

But Bowman says the AMA exaggerates the amount ICD-10 will cost smaller practices. "I think there's a lot of misinformation that has really scared some people. I don't think that for a provider it's going to bankrupt them or cost millions of dollars to transition," she says.

"I've had a couple of physicians tell me that they feel like the whole physician community is getting a bad rap. It's not like every physician in the United States is vehemently opposed to ICD-10. They are just reluctant to speak out right now. A lot of the medical specialty societies have been deeply involved for a long time in the development of ICD-10...(and) in fact, they helped write a lot of the codes."

But some physician opposition has been building. According to a survey by HealthLeaders Media last April, respondents said the number one challenge providers named in preventing them from attaining ICD-10 readiness was physician cooperation.

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