Bowman says the "too-much-on-our-plate" excuse has been used before by providers to justify delays.
"There is never going to be a year when we don't have a lot on our plates," she says. "It is unfortunate that ICD-10 didn't get initiated several years ago ahead of these other things to set the foundation and the groundwork for these other initiatives. Of course the further it is delayed, what is going to come up that year?"
AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD, issued a statement Thursday thanking Sebelius for her "swift response."
"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," Carmel said. "Burdens on physician practices need to be reduced—not created—as the nation's healthcare system undertakes significant payment and delivery reforms."
Bowman says providers should use their extended deadline to continue preparations for ICD-10. "This is a delay. It is not a stoppage of ICD-10. It's going to get done," she says. "Whatever work you get done will be done, so our message is don't stop the work you are doing."