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ICD-10: Time's Up; No More Excuses

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 11, 2012

It's time to stop the foot dragging.

Now, the question is, how.

A simple, clean cutover from earlier coding systems to ICD-10 may not be possible.

"I don't think there's a perfect solution out there, but I think that payers being ready first may make the most sense," says Janice Jacobs, director of regulatory affairs at IMA Consulting, a national independent healthcare management consulting firm working with more than 700 hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S.

And yet, CMS was mute on this suggestion, which was promoted by the Medical Group Management Association among others. So the payers and the health plans get just as long as the providers to get their ICD-10 coding systems up and running. (Aetna, for one, has pledged to be fully ready to process ICD-10 claims by October 1, 2014.)

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4 comments on "ICD-10: Time's Up; No More Excuses"


Dr Jeremy A Lazarus (9/14/2012 at 3:44 PM)
The article's theory regarding the AMA's opposition to ICD-10 implementation is unfounded and unsubstantiated. The true basis of the AMA's policy has already been accurately reported by HealthLeaders (http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-1/NRS-273412/ICD10-Cost-Timing-Concerns-Explain-AMA-Vote) and other publications when physicians passed a directive instructing the AMA to intervene on their behalf. The timing of the ICD-10 transition could not be worse. Physicians are spending significant financial and administrative resources to cope with overlapping regulatory requirements and multiple government programs that include penalties for noncompliance. At the same time, physicians face a continued threat of drastic Medicare payments cuts year after year. The mounting burdens take time away from patient care. Burdens on physician practices need to be reduced - not created - as we work to get the best value possible for the health care dollar and the nation undertakes significant payment and delivery reforms. The AMA will continue to urge the government to make good on its commitment to improve the regulatory climate for physicians. In the meantime, physicians need to understand the impact ICD-10 will have on their practices, and the AMA has devoted considerable effort to educational programs and resources to get them ready (http://www.ama-assn.org/go/ICD-10). Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. President, American Medical Association

Mimi Hart (9/14/2012 at 9:46 AM)
I must have missed a step..what happens under ICD-10 to the CPT system that the AMA would not be happy with?

usausa (9/12/2012 at 5:32 PM)
In the past 20 years I have headed up the coding section at 3 large hospitals, one for profit, one not for profit and now a University setting. In none of these hospitals were Physicians ready (or willing) to document to the extent ICD-10 will require and coders are NOT prepared to code to the level ICD-10 will require. It will be the unprepared leading the recalcitrant and revenues will drop like a rock. With electronic health records, Obamacare, and RACs already devastating what little revenues hospitals and physician's offices have, the smartest thing done to date was to postpone ICD-10,and that needs to be for TWO years not one. The commentators in favor of ICD-10, in my opinion, unanmously appear to benefit from the implementation in some way. Those of us who will be on the front lines can see what is going to happen, and it is our opinion that the entire medical profession(and the patients we serve) need to "Be afraid - be very afraid!"