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AHIMA: ICD-10 Costs Lower Than Previously Reported

November 14, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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New data published online in the Journal of AHIMA suggests that the estimated costs, time and resources required by physician offices to convert to ICD-10 are “dramatically lower” than initially estimated.

The evidence also suggests that physicians and their office staff, vendors and health plans have made considerable progress on ICD-10 implementation with fewer resources than previously estimated.

The article estimates that the ICD-10 conversion costs for a small practice are in the range of $1,900-$5,900. This is in stark contrast to a 2014 update of a widely referenced 2008 report by Nachimson Advisors to the American Medical Association (AMA), which estimated the cost for a small practice to implement ICD-10 was in the range of $22,560-$105,506.

The authors of the Journal of AHIMA article based their estimates on results from recent surveys, published reports and ICD-10 conversion experience with hospitals and physicians. The authors defined a small practice as three physicians and two impacted staff members such as coders and/or office personnel.

Additionally, the survey found that costs related to electronic health record (EHR) adoption and other healthcare initiatives such as meaningful use are not directly related to the ICD-10 conversion and were sometimes included in previous estimates.

“This research confirms that the ICD-10 conversion for small practices is not only highly achievable but far less onerous than many have suggested,” AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in a statement. “AHIMA remains committed to helping small practices with their transition to ICD-10, a modern and robust coding system that will lead to improved patient care and better health outcomes at reduced costs.”

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Wonderful. Another bureaucratic wishful thinking ideologue. The countries that have ICD-10's have not reaped the benefits of improved patient care nor better clinical outcomes. Increasing from 10,000 cpts to 60-80,000 codes does nothing for the objectives above except to drive physicians to use the "unspecified" code as a default. Why does anyone need to code for "a shark bite on the left foot while surfing at New Port Beach in the winter." How about an "animal bite" is enough?

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